Extreme Opponents of Genetically Modified Foods Know the Least But Think They Know the Most
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There is widespread agreement among scientists that geneti-cally modified foods are safe to consume and have the potential to provide substantial benefits to humankind3. However, many people still harbour concerns about them or oppose their use4,5. In a nationally representative sample of US adults, we find that as extremity of opposition to and con-cern about genetically modified foods increases, objective knowledge about science and genetics decreases, but per-ceived understanding of genetically modified foods increases. Extreme opponents know the least, but think they know the most. Moreover, the relationship between self-assessed and objective knowledge shifts from positive to negative at high levels of opposition. Similar results were obtained in a paral-lel study with representative samples from the United States, France and Germany, and in a study testing attitudes about a medical application of genetic engineering technology (gene therapy). This pattern did not emerge, however, for attitudes and beliefs about climate change.
Marketing: Fernbach, P. M., Light, N., Scott, S. E., Inbar, Y., & Rozin, P. (2019). Extreme opponents of genetically modified foods know the least but think they know the most. Nature Human Behaviour