Ardent opponents of GM was arrogant ignorant

Ardent opponents of GM was arrogant ignorant

They’re the worst answered questions from the simple scientific test.

The most ardent opponents of genetically modified organisms believe that the best informed about the current status of GMO science, but in fact the worst of all other categories of respondents understand simple scientific questions, including genetics. The article is about the study of American and British scientists published in the journal Nature of Human Behaviour.

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The safety of GM crop varieties is confirmed by numerous studies. So, in 2016, the National Academy of Sciences, technology and medicine, the United States has prepared a detailed report on GM crops, which noted that the products of such crops are not only harmful, but can be useful for a person. Read more about what science knows about GMOs, visit our blog “Beware! Contain GMO!”.

Phil Fernbach (Phil Fernbach) from the business school of the University of Leeds and his colleagues decided to test how people’s attitude towards GMOs may be associated with the level of knowledge on this problem, both subjective and objective — it is subjective self-awareness often influences beliefs, while the people themselves are usually inaccurately assess their knowledge, the scientists write. A group of Fernbach spent several representative surveys in the United States, France and Germany. The survey involved more than two thousand adult respondents, with more than 90 percent of respondents were in varying degrees, have a negative attitude towards GMOs.

It turned out that the stronger was this negative attitude, the higher people rated their own knowledge on the subject — and at the same time the worse answered questions of the simple science test.

Really knowledgeable people (not opponents of GMOs) is also highly appreciated your knowledge: the nature of dependence changed approximately in the middle of the scale of attitude towards GMOs. The results are not influenced by the order in which questions were asked about the attitude to GMOs and the level of knowledge. When respondents were asked on what grounds they oppose the use of GM crops, 73 percent said their risk to human health and not, say, moral or environmental considerations — i.e. the assessment of scientific literacy of the respondents in this case are relevant, the authors of the article.

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“This result corresponds to previous research on the psychology of extremism. Such extreme views often have people who believe that understand complex topics better than they actually understand them,” said Fernbach, who was quoted by the press service of the Colorado state University.

The authors emphasize that one of the consequences of their work is that opponents of GMOs, the least knowledgeable about the subject, most likely, did not get new knowledge because they do not seek and do not find it necessary. Therefore, to change their attitude, you need to first show them and convince them that they know less than they think.