Congrats to my colleagues Chris Cummings and Agnes Chuah for publishing our paper on “Protection Motivation and Communication through Nano-Food Labels: Improving Predictive Capabilities of Attitudes and Purchase Intentions toward Nano-Foods” at Science, Technology, & Human Values!
Authors: Chris Cummings, Agnes S. F. Chuah, & Shirley S. Ho
The development and use of nanotechnology in the food industry (nano-food) has grown steadily. While visions for nano-food suggest that the applications will improve quality and safety, they are also controversial for several reasons, including potential health risks coupled with difficulty in assessing low-dosage nanoparticle risks, as well as values-based objections. In recent years, debate over nano-foods has sparked inquiry into factors that predict public attitudes and purchase intentions. Such studies have investigated the roles of demographics and sociographics, value predispositions toward science and technology, preferences for natural products, trust in regulatory agencies, scientific knowledge, and media attention. This study assesses the role of each of these factors in shaping public attitudes toward nano-food and improves the predictive models by evaluating concepts from Protection Motivation Theory. We find that incorporating threat and coping appraisals provides the best predictive models of public attitudes and intention to purchase nano-food products.