Attitudes, values, and socio-demographic characteristics that predict acceptance of genetic engineering and applications of new technology in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • Studies of community reactions to biotechnology and genetic engineering (GE), in particular, have identified a number of correlates of acceptance, including the field of application of a technology and various characteristics of the perceiver. Factor analysis of acceptability ratings (N=686) of 12 applications of new technologies revealed three factors, denoting medical, societal, and indulgent applications. Acceptability ratings of each application and of GE in principle were regressed onto 18 demographic, attitudinal, trust, and value variables previously identified as potential correlates of acceptance. Predictive profiles for acceptance of medical and societal applications were largely similar. General receptiveness toward science and technology was the primary predictor of GE acceptance and a major predictor of acceptance for each application area. Environmental concern and self-transcendent (e.g., pro-nature) values did not predict acceptance in any instance. Findings clarify considerations associated with acceptance of biotechnological innovations and support arguments against knowledge- and trust-deficit explanations of resistance to technology.


  • Mohr, Philip
  • Harrison, Adam
  • Wilson, Carlene
  • Baghurst, Katrine I
  • Syrette, Julie

publication date

  • September 2007