Journalism and Communication, Greenlee School of
Journal or Book Title
The complex web of political-economic relations that constitutes biotechnology coupled with a contentious history of public resistance, illustrates the power of perceptions of credibility in mediating individuals’ judgements about GMOs. To more accurately measure what contributes to public skepticism of GM foods, the present research applies a multidimensional model of source credibility comprised of scientific understanding, integrity, agreement, concern, trust, and goodwill (bias). Testing the Anti-Reflexivity Thesis in a new context, we also explore the role of attitudes about science and economic innovation by analyzing associations between political ideology and beliefs about the potential impacts of GM foods. Using data from the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, we find evidence of politically polarized perceptions of GM scientists’ credibility and public beliefs about the environmental risks and benefits of GM foods. Results suggest that political ideology is indirectly associated with beliefs about GM impacts on the food supply, largely through perceptions of goodwill, the so-called “lost” dimension of source credibility. Because demand for biotechnology products like gene edited foods is expected to increase, consumer beliefs about GMOs will likely have significant implications for the future of the bioeconomy.
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The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Hunt, Kathleen P. and Wald, Dara M., "The Role of Scientific Source Credibility and Goodwill in Public Skepticism Toward GM Foods" (2020). Journalism Publications. 22.