Campus Units

Journalism and Communication, Greenlee School of

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

3-13-2020

Journal or Book Title

Environmental Communication

Volume

14

Issue

7

First Page

971

Last Page

986

DOI

10.1080/17524032.2020.1725086

Abstract

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.

Comments

This article is published as Hunt, K.P., Wald, D.M., The Role of Scientific Source Credibility and Goodwill in Public Skepticism Toward GM Foods. Environmental Communication, 2020, 14(7) 971–986; doi: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1725086.

Copyright Owner

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

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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