Cultural Cognition and Synthetic Biology Risk Perceptions: A Preliminary Analysis

17 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2008 Last revised: 24 Feb 2009

See all articles by Gregory N. Mandel

Gregory N. Mandel

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Donald Braman

George Washington University - Law School; Cultural Cognition Project

Dan M. Kahan

Yale University - Law School

Date Written: September 5, 2008

Abstract

We describe the results of a study to determine the synthetic-biology risk perceptions of a large and diverse sample of Americans (N = 1,500). The survey found that hierarchical, conservative, and highly religious individuals - one who normally are skeptical of claims of environmental risks (including those relating to global warming) - are the most concerned about synthetic biology risks. We offer an interpretation that identifies how selective risk-skepticism and risk-sensitivity can convey a cultural commitment to traditional forms of authority.

Suggested Citation

Mandel, Gregory and Braman, Donald and Kahan, Dan M., Cultural Cognition and Synthetic Biology Risk Perceptions: A Preliminary Analysis (September 5, 2008). Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School ; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 446; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 446; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-78; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 364. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1264804 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1264804

Gregory Mandel

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
(215) 204-2381 (Phone)

Donald Braman

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Cultural Cognition Project ( email )

2000 H St NW
2000 H Street
Washington, DC 20052 20052
United States
202-491-8843 (Phone)
202 491-8843 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/braman

Dan M. Kahan (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/kahan

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