In this paper, we investigated educated millennials’ evaluation of credence attributes in food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO products). Our goal is to assess whether beliefs about GMO products are determined by scientific knowledge alone or if they are affected by other factors such as trust in information providers and use of social media. The focus on millennials is motivated by the increasing relevance of this social group in the public debate and by their extensive use of social media. We surveyed a sample of 215 Italian college students, confronting them with questions about safety, environmental impact and ethical issues in GMO product consumption. Using an ordered probit regression model, we found that educated millennials build their beliefs using a mix of scientific knowledge and trust in information providers. The role of the two drivers depended on the issue considered. Scientific knowledge drove beliefs in health claims, while trust in information providers was a driving factor in almost all claims. After controlling for trust effects, we did not find evidence of impact of confidence in the reliability of traditional and social media on beliefs. This result contradicts previous literature.

Educated millennials and credence attributes of food products with genetically modified organisms: Knowledge, trust and social media

Simeone M.;
2020

Abstract

In this paper, we investigated educated millennials’ evaluation of credence attributes in food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO products). Our goal is to assess whether beliefs about GMO products are determined by scientific knowledge alone or if they are affected by other factors such as trust in information providers and use of social media. The focus on millennials is motivated by the increasing relevance of this social group in the public debate and by their extensive use of social media. We surveyed a sample of 215 Italian college students, confronting them with questions about safety, environmental impact and ethical issues in GMO product consumption. Using an ordered probit regression model, we found that educated millennials build their beliefs using a mix of scientific knowledge and trust in information providers. The role of the two drivers depended on the issue considered. Scientific knowledge drove beliefs in health claims, while trust in information providers was a driving factor in almost all claims. After controlling for trust effects, we did not find evidence of impact of confidence in the reliability of traditional and social media on beliefs. This result contradicts previous literature.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12070/47612
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