Risk Perception, Behavior, and Consumer Response to Genetically Modified Organisms: Toward Understanding American and European Public Reaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Public debate about the acceptability of genetically modified organisms in the production of food and feed has included controversy about risks of harming human health and/or the natural environment. Consumer and public response to the risks can be volatile, as manifested in some of the extreme protest actions in Europe. These reactions are due, in part, to strong judgments formed from memorable events. Such judgments are common when individuals do not have a good understanding of risks. Economic and psychological theories of decision making provide understanding of how these judgments are formed, how they might evolve, and what can be done to influence them. Public dialogue and action must account for cognitive difficulties assessing risks to stimulate public evaluation that gives full consideration to the benefits and cost of genetically modified organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1388
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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