Lisa House
Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida
Jayson Lusk
Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University
Sara Jaeger
Department of Marketing, University of Auckland
W. Bruce Traill
Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading
Melissa Moore
Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law, Mississippi State University
Carlotta Valli
Department of Statistics, University of Bologna
Bert Morrow
Department of Business Administration, Birmingham Southern College
Wallace M.S. Yee
Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading

In the growing body of literature concerning consumer acceptance of genetically modified (GM) foods, there are significant differences in conclusions about the impact of knowledge on such acceptance. One potential explanation for these differences is the manner in which knowledge is measured. This paper first provides a review of the literature on objective and subjective knowledge, and reviews previous studies investigating the relationship between knowledge and acceptance of GM foods. Next, the goal of this study is to differentiate and examine the impact of both subjective and objective knowledge related to acceptance of genetically modified foods. Data from surveys collected in the United States, England, and France is used. Our findings suggest that knowledge should not be viewed as a unidimensional construct, and the way in which knowledge is measured significantly impacts the relationship with consumers’ willingness to accept GM foods.

Key words: Consumer acceptance, genetically modified foods, objective knowledge, subjective knowledge.