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Changing minds on GMOs, global warming: More information may not be enough

| | November 16, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Because there is often a gap between science and public opinion, there is a need to better understand what factors affect the dissonance. The objective of this study was to determine the factors associated with public opinion that oppose scientific consensus regarding GM foods and human involvement in [Global Warming] GW.

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A phenomenon that is sometimes observed when there is discourse between public and scientific opinion is illusory correlation. This occurs when an individual believes a correlation exists between two events that are uncorrelated, or are correlated but to a lesser extent than believed, or are correlated in the opposite direction than believed…

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Public disagreement with science may be characterized as a deficiency in knowledge or understanding and it has been suggested that increased communication can help to resolve these deficiencies. However, it is not clear that providing the public with more information would have a desired outcome if the goal of increased communication is to decrease the gap between the public and science….

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There appears to be a strong association between illusory correlations and disagreement with the scientific community. …[E]fforts to decrease illusory correlations may be a more effective form of scientific communication than simply providing information….

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Examining the Gap between Science and Public Opinion about Genetically Modified Food and Global Warming

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