Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License


In collaboration with professional science journalists, we conducted a national online survey (N = 2,088) to explore facets of awe as potential response states to science journalism and how audiences’ dispositional science curiosity may influence these response states. Our science journalist collaborators identified several “awe-inducing” articles as well as a “business-as-usual” article to use in the survey, and we measured participants’ experiences of awe using the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S). We replicated the factor structure of the AWE-S and found that participants’ generally experienced greater awe from reading the “awe-inducing” science articles compared to the “business-asusual” one. Only partial support for the Differential Susceptibility to Media Effects model was found. Although we found that greater science curiosity predicted greater awe reactions to science journalism, science curiosity did not moderate the relationship between type of article read and experiences of awe. Together, these results demonstrate that audiences can experience awe from reading science journalism and the AWE-S is a good way to capture this emotion for media psychology research.