GM Food Opponents Know Less Than They Think

by Colleen Fleiss on  January 15, 2019 at 5:20 PM Diet & Nutrition News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

More strongly people report being opposed to genetically modified (GM) foods , the more knowledgeable they think they are on the topic, but the lower they score on an actual knowledge test, found new research.
GM Food Opponents Know Less Than They Think
GM Food Opponents Know Less Than They Think

The paper, published Monday in Nature Human Behaviour, was a collaboration between researchers at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Toronto and the University of Pennsylvania.

Marketing and psychology researchers asked more than 2,000 U.S. and European adults for their opinions about GM foods. The surveys asked respondents how well they thought they understood genetically modified foods, then tested how much they actually knew with a battery of true-false questions on general science and genetics.

"This result is perverse, but is consistent with previous research on the psychology of extremism," said Phil Fernbach, the study's lead author and professor of marketing at the Leeds School of Business. "Extreme views often stem from people feeling they understand complex topics better than they do."

A potential consequence of the phenomenon, according to the paper's authors, is that the people who know the least about important scientific issues may be likely to stay that way, because they may not seek out--or be open to--new knowledge.

"Our findings suggest that changing peoples' minds first requires them to appreciate what they don't know," said study co-author Nicholas Light, a Leeds School of Business PhD candidate. "Without this first step, educational interventions might not work very well to bring people in line with the scientific consensus."

The paper's authors also explored other issues, like gene therapy and climate change denial. They found the same results for gene therapy.

However, the pattern did not emerge for climate change denial. The researchers hypothesize that the climate change debate has become so politically polarized that people's attitudes depend more on which group they affiliate with than how much they know about the issue.

Fernbach and Light plan to follow this paper with more research on how their findings play into other issues like vaccinations, nuclear power and homeopathic medicine.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions
Advertisement

Recommended Reading

More News on:

Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Genetically Modified Food Hunger Fullness and Weight Control Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded Tips for Healthy Fasting During Ramadhan Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat Top Food for Dieters Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive