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Trust in risk regulation: cause or consequence of the acceptability of GM food?

Poortinga, Wouter ORCID: and Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank ORCID: 2005. Trust in risk regulation: cause or consequence of the acceptability of GM food? Risk Analysis 25 (1) , pp. 199-209. 10.1111/j.0272-4332.2005.00579.x

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Although there is ample empirical evidence that trust in risk regulation is strongly related to the perception and acceptability of risk, it is less clear what the direction of this relationship is. This article explores the nature of the relationship, using three separate data sets on perceptions of genetically modified (GM) food among the British public. The article has two discrete but closely interrelated objectives. First, it compares two models of trust. More specifically, it investigates whether trust is the cause (causal chain account) or the consequence (associationist view) of the acceptability of GM food. Second, this study explores whether the affect heuristic can be applied to a wider number of risk-relevant concepts than just perceived risk and benefit. The results suggest that, rather than a determinant, trust is an expression or indicator of the acceptability of GM food. In addition, and as predicted, “affect” accounts for a large portion of the variance between perceived risk, perceived benefit, trust in risk regulation, and acceptability. Overall, the results support the associationist view that specific risk judgments are driven by more general evaluative judgments The implications of these results for risk communication and policy are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acceptance; affect; genetically modified food; risk perception; trust
Publisher: Society for Risk Analysis
ISSN: 0272-4332
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 11:06

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