Scientific innovation provides benefits to society but also fosters suspicion and distrust. The unknown of scientific innovations in agriculture has yielded a strained relationship between consumers and farmers, creating little to no public support for solutions to agricultural issues. The relationship between public trust and agricultural innovation is further strained when discussing genetic modification (GM) science and food. Informational graphics are an increasingly popular communication technique that may effectively communicate GM science to consumers. This study examined, through a experimental design using two treatments and a control, if static or animated infographics sharing current societal perceptions of GM science in the U.S. influenced consumers’ trust in science, personal attitudes toward GM, and perceived attitudes of others toward GM science. The animated group had the highest mean trust in science and the control group had the most positive attitude toward GM and the most positive perceived attitudes of others toward GM. The only significant difference was the control group had a more positive perceived attitude than the animated group. The infographics’ lack of impact on respondents’ trust or attitude toward GM science contradicted previous research about respondents’ increased attitude and elaboration of agricultural issues. Food concerns are of continual importance for consumers, and researchers need to help food and fiber scientists and communicators share relevant and research-based information with the public through diverse channels.
Lamm, Alexa J.; Gibson, Kristin; Holt, Jessica; Lamm, Kevan; Ellis, Jason D. Ph.D.; and Rumble, Joy N.
"Testing the Impact of Animating Infographics on Consumer Trust and Attitude When Communicating about Genetic Modification,"
Journal of Applied Communications:
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