Hostile media perceptions and consumption of genetically modified and organic foods: Examining the mediating role of risk-benefit assessments

Sai Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drawing upon the hostile media effect, this study examined how perceived media bias in covering genetically modified (GM) food influences individuals’ risk–benefit assessments of it and their food consumption behaviors. The results of a nationally representative survey (N = 1364) showed that individuals seeing media coverage as more biased in favor of GM food perceived it as more hazardous, which was related to a higher proportion of organic food consumption in their diets. In contrast, perceived media coverage as less slanted toward GM food was associated with more benefit perceptions of it, thereby predicting its higher proportion in individuals’ diets. More importantly, the indirect effect of perceived media bias on GM food consumption through benefit perceptions was more pronounced among males than females. The findings of this study not only provide empirical evidence of the perceptual and behavioral outcomes of hostile media perceptions, but also offer valuable insights for journalists and education practitioners to improve public understanding of emerging food technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalRisk Analysis
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physiology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • food consumption
  • gender differences
  • genetically modified food
  • hostile media perceptions

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