Cultural lag, sometimes hypothesized to come from preconditioning, from an unwillingness to change, and from laziness, may instead often arise from a physiological limitation--the inability to read all relevant material and an understandable reluctance to act in the absence of complete knowledge about a subject. Lack of cogency (indicated by no appropriate action) may also be a major cause of cultural lag. There is considerable evidence that people read and view, but do nothing appropriate about it--even when it is in their own best interests to act. The message may not be cogent enough to indicate action. Perhaps the receiver of the message is not conditioned to receive it at that time and thus awaits repetition of the message, advocacy by an authority figure, peer-group pressure, interpretation, or popularization of the message. Perhaps the receiver does read and understand the message; however, this is not the only message the receiver has received. There may have been thousands of messages in the receiver's experience that form a "console" of prior attitudes and beliefs that influences the receiver's acceptance of the message, resulting in distorting, rejecting, and rationalizing. Problems of reception are explored in chapters 15 through 18.
This book, itself, is an example of cultural lag. It could have been written thirty-five years ago; nearly all of the data were available then. It is interesting that the field of information