Using video of a talk by the British environmentalist Mark Lynas about his transformation from an opponent of GM crops to an advocate, researchers found that Lynas’ conversion narrative had a greater impact on the attitudes of people who viewed it than a direct advocacy message.
The respondents each were shown one [clip of] Lynas explaining the benefits of GM crops; 2) Lynas discussing….changing his mind about GM crops; and 3) Lynas explaining why his beliefs changed, including the realization that the anti-GM movement….was a form of anti-science environmentalism.
The researchers found that both forms of the conversion message (2 and 3) were more influential than the simple advocacy message.
“The two-sided nature of the conversion message – presenting old beliefs and then refuting them – was more effective than a straightforward argument in favor of GM crops,” [said Benjamin A. Lyons, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center ].
Read full, original article: Can a critic who becomes a believer sway others? The case of genetically modified foods