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08.03.2011 Biotechnology in Switzerland: Fairness, affect, trust and acceptance of GM plants Melanie Connor & Michael Siegrist.

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Presentation on theme: "08.03.2011 Biotechnology in Switzerland: Fairness, affect, trust and acceptance of GM plants Melanie Connor & Michael Siegrist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biotechnology in Switzerland: Fairness, affect, trust and acceptance of GM plants Melanie Connor & Michael Siegrist

2 Background 2005 Swiss citizens endorsed a moratorium on biotechnology Commercial cultivation of GMOs is prohibited until 2013 Scientific experiments are allowed 2008: Field experiments in German speaking part of Switzerland 2009: Field experiments in French speaking part of Switzerland Field experiments with GM wheat resistant to mildew within NRP 59

3 People’s Perception of Risk Crucial for making sound policy decisions Several theories to understand risk perception Address fears and concerns expressed by the public

4 Theories relevant for the present work Dual process of thinking: Analytic System: Logical reasoning, abstract symbols, is slow and effortful Intuitive, holistic, fast and mostly automatic Experiential System:

5 Theories relevant for the present work Affect heuristic: Images are associated with positive or negative affect May guide judgements under uncertainty Dual process of thinking: Analytic System: Logical reasoning, abstract symbols, is slow and effortful Intuitive, holistic, fast and mostly automatic Experiential System:

6 Theories relevant for the present work Affect heuristic: Images are associated with positive or negative affect Used when knowledge is limited or missing Trust heuristic: May guide judgements under uncertainty Dual process of thinking: Analytic System: Logical reasoning, abstract symbols, is slow and effortful Intuitive, holistic, fast and mostly automatic Experiential System:

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8 ‘Face to Face’ interviews, around Zurich Reckenholz, where field experiments with GM wheat plants were conducted First wave 2008, second wave in 2010 (questionnaire) 654 face to face interviews (response rate 28%) 345 additional people filled out the questionnaire In total 999 people filled out the questionnaire (cumulative response rate: 42%) Methods

9 At the beginning of each interview people were asked to name three word associations Had to Rate these associations on a scale from -3 (negative) to + 3 (positive) Affective measures Had to indicate whether they evaluate biotechnology to be positive or negative on a 6 point-scale

10 Based on: Connor, M. & Siegrist, M. (in press): The Power of Association: Its impact on willingness to buy GM food. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment What associations do people have in mind when being confronted with the term biotechnology?

11 Correspondence analysis

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13 What associations do people have when being confronted with the term biotechnology? How do these Associations influence willingness to pay for GM food? Based on: Connor, M. & Siegrist, M. (in press): The Power of Association: Its impact on willingness to buy GM food. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment

14 Equivalent gain task Choose between chocolate (GM-chocolate) or monetary amount Monetary amount increased in 20 Rappen steps from 0 CHF up to 1.80 CHF

15 Study 2

16 Study 2 ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗

17 Study 2 ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗  =7

18 Equivalent gain task Choose between chocolate (GM-chocolate) or monetary amount Monetary amount increased in 20 Rappen steps from 0 CHF up to 1.80 CHF Answers were dichotomised and regression analysis was conducted with: Willingness to choose GM chocolate as dependent variable Three affective measures, gender, willingness to choose non- GM chocolate as predictor variables

19 Results Willingness to choose GM chocolate served as dependent variable

20 Results Willingness to choose GM chocolate served as dependent variable

21 Participants were willing to choose GM chocolate up to 1.00 CHF vs. non-GM chocolate up to 1.80 CHF Affect seems to play an important role in decision-making processes Experiential system is used

22 Which criteria do people use spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications? Based on: Connor, M. & Siegrist M.(online first): Sorting Biotechnology Applications: Results of Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and Cluster Analysis. Public Understanding of Science

23 Constructing preferences when responding to questionnaire questions Use of various sources of information Which criteria do people use spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications? Based on: Connor, M. & Siegrist M.(online first): Sorting Biotechnology Applications: Results of Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and Cluster Analysis. Public Understanding of Science

24 applications: (medical, agricultural, industrial, nutritional, plants, animals, micro- organisms) Sort cards GM rice that produces Vitamin A. aa

25 One group was asked to sort the cards according to own criteria Other group was asked to sort the cards according to similarity regarding risk perception Questionnaire: 12 applications assessed regarding risk and benefit perception Analysed data using multidimensional scaling techniques

26 Computed 29 x 29 matrices both tasks: 2 dimensions are the optimal solution combined matrix MDS: PROXSCAL, hierarchical cluster analysis 2 dimensions Data Analysis / Results MDS: INDSCAL for stability verification, common solution for both sorting tasks

27

28 Benefit perceptions are the criteria used spontaneously

29 How stable are benefit and risk perceptions over time? Based on: Connor, M. & Siegrist M. (submitted): The Stability of Risk Perceptions: A Longitudinal Study Assessing the Perception of Technological Risk.

30 How stable are benefit and risk perceptions over time? Only if people’s perceptions remain stable over time, can public preferences taken into account by policy makers Based on: Connor, M. & Siegrist M. (submitted): The Stability of Risk Perceptions: A Longitudinal Study Assessing the Perception of Technological Risk.

31 Same people answered the same questionnaire two years later Explorative factor analysis to investigate the underlying structure Implementing structural equation modelling to investigate the correlations and pattern

32 Results Benefit Perception CFI =.92, RMSEA =.08

33 Results Risk Perception CFI =.95, RMSEA =.07

34 Further studies Questions regarding trust, fairness and the acceptance of the field experiments Is procedural fairness only important for people for whom biotechnology is not an important issue?

35 Further studies Questions regarding trust, fairness and the acceptance of the field experiments Is procedural fairness only important for people for whom biotechnology is not an important issue? Results show that procedural fairness is important for all participants not only for those for whom biotechnology is not an important issue

36 Further studies Which factors influence the acceptance of biotechnology? Conducted a mail questionnaire in spring 2008 Found that risk and benefit perceptions along with trust are main determinants for the acceptance of biotechnology Knowledge does not have a great effect on the acceptance of biotechnology

37 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology

38 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications

39 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications Risk and benefit perceptions are stable over time

40 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications Risk and benefit perceptions are stable over time procedural fairness is important for all participants not only for those for whom biotechnology is not an important issue

41 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications Risk and benefit perceptions are stable over time procedural fairness is important for all participants not only for those for whom biotechnology is not an important issue Trust is an important determinant for the acceptance of biotechnology and field experiments with GM plants

42 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications Risk and benefit perceptions are stable over time Knowledge does not have a great effect on the acceptance of biotechnology procedural fairness is important for all participants not only for those for whom biotechnology is not an important issue Trust is an important determinant for the acceptance of biotechnology and field experiments with GM plants

43 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications Risk and benefit perceptions are stable over time Knowledge does not have a great effect on the acceptance of biotechnology procedural fairness is important for all participants not only for those for whom biotechnology is not an important issue Use the experiential system to evaluate biotechnology Trust is an important determinant for the acceptance of biotechnology and field experiments with GM plants

44 Conclusions Affect plays an important role in people’s perception of biotechnology People use benefit perceptions spontaneously to evaluate biotechnology applications Risk and benefit perceptions are stable over time Knowledge does not have a great effect on the acceptance of biotechnology procedural fairness is important for all participants not only for those for whom biotechnology is not an important issue Use the experiential system to evaluate biotechnology Trust is an important determinant for the acceptance of biotechnology and field experiments with GM plants

45 Picture: Keller, B. (2009) THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!


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