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Intuitive and explicit reactions towards “new” food technologies: Attitude strength and familiarity

Petra Tenbült (Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Nanne K. de Vries (Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Ellen Dreezens (Department of Experimental Psychology, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Carolien Martijn (Department of Experimental Psychology, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

New food technologies are of increasing importance but not a lot of research into how people react to these technologies has been conducted. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how implicit measurements in addition to explicit measurements give insight into how well an attitude towards a food concept, in relation to its familiarity, is predictive for behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

An implicit measurement (EAST) and an explicit questionnaire were used to investigate people's attitudes and attitude strength towards two food technologies (genetic modification and organic production). Correlations between the two measurements were calculated to determine whether familiar food technologies are more predictive for behaviour than relatively unfamiliar food technologies.

Findings

Implicit measurements showed negative associations with genetic modification. Explicit measurements showed neutral associations with genetic modification. In contrast, implicit and explicit measurements showed positive associations with organic production. When a food technology is well known (e.g. organic production), significant correlations between the two measurements were present suggesting that attitudes were predictive for behaviour. In contrast, when a food technology is not well known (e.g. genetic modification), significant correlations were not present suggesting that attitudes were not predictive for behaviour.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the relation between intuitive and explicit reactions in relation with the novelty of food technologies.

Keywords

Citation

Tenbült, P., de Vries, N.K., Dreezens, E. and Martijn, C. (2008), "Intuitive and explicit reactions towards “new” food technologies: Attitude strength and familiarity", British Food Journal, Vol. 110 No. 6, pp. 622-635. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700810877924

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited