Concept

Knowledge gap hypothesis

Résumé
The knowledge gap hypothesis explains that knowledge, like other forms of wealth, is often differentially distributed throughout a social system. Specifically, the hypothesis predicts that "as the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases, segments of the population with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments, so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease". Phillip J. Tichenor, then Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, George A. Donohue, Professor of Sociology, and Clarice N. Olien, Instructor in Sociology – three University of Minnesota researchers – first proposed the knowledge gap hypothesis in 1970. Foundations Although first formally articulated in 1970, Tichenor, Donohue, and Olien note that the knowledge gap hypothesis has been implicit throughout the mass communicati
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