Two separate studies used quasi-experimental procedures to examine how college students learn about campus shootings from press releases, television news, or exposure to both. The first study found that women tend to report higher levels of learning than men and that participants generally learn the most when exposed to messages delivered through multiple media. The second study extended the findings to include consideration of the impact of learning on organizational reputation. Taken together, the results of both studies offer further evidence that knowledge acquisition can help mitigate against the formation of negative impressions of an organization in crisis. They also offer that the relationship between learning and attitude formation may be mediated by sex. The results are discussed in terms of message placement strategy and sex differences in mediated learning processes. Implications for the relationship between these learning processes and organizational reputation are addressed.



Author ORCID Identifier

Kenneth A. Lachlan 0000-0002-7856-2797

Patric R. Spence 0000-0002-1793-6871

Leah Omilion-Hodges 0000-0001-5574-5155