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The Power of Stories: Narratives and Information Framing Effects in Food Science Communication

Presented by: Dr. Yang Yang, Assistant Professor, JSGS

This research explores information framing effects by comparing the effectiveness of using logical-scientific versus narrative information to communicate with consumers about a new biotechnology application (gene editing). Using data from an online survey of 804 Canadian adults, a discrete choice experiment elicits preferences for diverse novel food attributes and technologies, with respondents randomly assigned to different information conditions. We construct a logical-scientific information condition, written in a scientific style using the passive voice with generalized and impersonal language and attributed to either a government agency or a scientific organization. In contrast, we frame the narrative-style information condition as a story, using a lively and vivid personal style, and attributed to either a science journalist or a consumer blogger. Data are analyzed using multinomial logit and random parameters logit models. We find that the information format (logical-scientific vs. narrative) matters: narratives help reduce negative perceptions regarding agricultural and food technologies. We also examine factors that predispose consumers to seek logical-scientific versus narrative information sources.

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Date ( Add to your Calendar)
Thursday, March 24, 2022
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

How to Connect
This lecture will be available via Zoom. Please register by clicking the link provided and connection details will be sent by email.

The Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy (CSIP) invites all students, faculty, researchers, and citizens interested in the study of science, technology and innovation policy to participate in a bi-weekly forum.

Karen Jaster-Laforge