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Risk-related judgements and decisions about GM food: The role of affect

April 11 2005

Venue: University of Edinburgh

Organised by: Innogen

Much has been written about risk perceptions and public understanding of genetically modified (GM) food, yet little if any of the academic writings on this topic take into account the role of feelings or affect in these processes. In this talk I will discuss findings of some recent empirical work which bears on this issue. Shaped by evidence emerging from the burgeoning literature in the domain of risk and feelings our studies investigated the potential effects of incidental and integral affect. We found no influence of incidental affect on risk judgements. Integral affect (dread) was shown to influence future purchasing decisions about GM, but generally GM was not dreaded compared with other contemporary risk issues. To increase understanding of the role of feelings in making judgements and decisions about GM food, future studies should consider measuring integral and incidental affect in addition to other key factors such as the vividness of imagery associated with GM, knowledge, perceived need, perceived benefits and trust.,1373,en.t4.html