The Impact of Source Credibility on Scientific Skepticism of Climate Change and Genetically Modified Foods: Findings from the General Social Survey

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2018-01-01
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Hunt, Kathleen
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Wald, Dara
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Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Science Communication Project @ISU was founded in 2010 with the goal of enhancing collaborative research on, education for, and the practice of public science communication, broadly conceived. Our biennial symposia- which include public presentations of multidisciplinary research and interactive workshops- bring together a network of scholars who share interests in public engagement of science, environmental communication, natural resource management, and agriscience. Conference proceedings showcase research, evaluations, and critiques of science communication-related practices and phenomena.

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The current study explores the role of source credibility in continued public concern over climate change and GM foods, suggesting that this skepticism is more likely driven by perceptions of scientists as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and unbiased- the three primary constructs of source credibility (McCrosky & Teven, 1999; Teven 2008). We analyze data from the 2006 GSS survey to empirically measure the components of source credibility, comparing their influence and relationship to political ideology in perceptions of CC impacts and willingness to consume GM foods.

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