Attitudes on Animal Research Predict Acceptance of Genetic Modification Technologies by University Undergraduates
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Abstract Public acceptance of genetic modification (GM) technologies may be essential to their continued development, yet few studies have investigated the manner in which demographic and educational factors predict support for GM research. The current study examined attitudes toward animal research and GM in ~400 university undergraduates enrolled in introductory or upper-level psychology courses with material on animal experimentation. Results revealed that men were more accepting of animal and GM research than were women. Enrollment in upper-level psychology classes that addressed specific topics in animal research did not directly predict support for GM research, but such enrollment was associated with increased endorsement of the validity of animal research, which then contributed to acceptance of GM scenarios. The current findings highlight the impact of educational variables on support for animal research, which may then influence attitudes toward GM research.
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