Disease-threat model explains acceptance of genetically modified products

Prokop P., Ozel M., Usak M., ŞENAY İ.

PSIHOLOGIJA, cilt.46, sa.3, ss.229-243, 2013 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 46 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2013
  • Doi Numarası: 10.2298/psi130416002p
  • Dergi Adı: PSIHOLOGIJA
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.229-243


Natural selection favoured survival of individuals who were able to avoid disease. The behavioural immune system is activated especially when our sensory system comes into contact with disease-connoting cues and/or when these cues resemble disease threat. We investigated whether or not perception of modern risky technologies, risky behaviour, expected reproductive goals and food neophobia are associated with the behavioural immune system related to specific attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) products. We found that respondents who felt themselves more vulnerable to infectious diseases had significantly more negative attitudes toward GM products. Females had less positive attitudes toward GM products, but engaging in risky behaviours, the expected reproductive goals of females and food neophobia did not predict attitudes toward GM products. Our results suggest that evolved psychological mechanisms primarily designed to protect us against pathogen threat are activated by modern technologies possessing potential health risks.