Examining the relationship between knowledge and attitude extremity on genetic engineering technology : A conceptual replication study from China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number101585
Journal / PublicationJournal of Environmental Psychology
Online published20 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


Fernbach et al. (2019) found that extreme opposition to genetically modified (GM) food was associated with low levels of objective knowledge and high levels of self-assessed knowledge in the US. They also found that the pattern that extreme opponents knew the least but felt they knew the most applied to opponents of a medical application of genetic engineering technology (gene therapy). In the past few years, genetic engineering technology become one of the most polarized scientific and social issues in China. Following Fernbach et al. (2019), we conducted a conceptual replication study using a nationally representative sample of Chinese internet users. In addition to studying extreme opponents of GM food and other applications of genetic engineering technology, we examined the extreme supporters in terms of their knowledge as well. Our findings show that Chinese people in general hold negative attitudes toward GM food and positive attitudes toward other applications of genetic engineering technology. Consistent with the original study, we found a similar pattern for extreme opponents of GM food in China. In addition, our data show the same pattern for extreme proponents of other applications of genetic engineering technology.

Research Area(s)

  • Attitude extremity, China, Genetic engineering technology, Knowledge, Replication study

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