Canadian Consumers' Benefit and Risk Perception of Genetically Modified Food: The Role of Emotion, Information, and Risk Attitudes

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Burger, Emma
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University of Guelph

This thesis investigates the role of information, emotion, and risk attitudes in Canadian consumers' risk and benefit perception of a hypothetical GM product – a GM avocado with delayed browning. To do so an E-survey was distributed to Canadian consumers (N=302). Additional product information was provided to consumers through experimental treatment blocks. Information treatments describing product benefits did not have an effect on consumer risk or benefit perception of the GM avocado, but did have an effect on purchasing likelihood. Emotions – interest, anger, worry, pride, pessimism - were significant on perception or likelihood of purchasing the hypothetical GM avocado; risk attitudes were also significant. These results suggest that emotions play a more significant role in consumers' perception of GM products than product information. However, information communicating product benefits may play a role in how likely a person is to purchase new novel food products.

GM food, affect, risk aversion, ambiguity aversion, consumer perception, information