Major Psychological Factors Affecting Acceptance of Gene-Recombination Technology
The purpose of this study was to verify the validity of a causal model that was made to predict the acceptance of gene-recombination technology. A structural equation model was used as a causal model. First of all, based on preceding studies, the factors of perceived risk, perceived benefit, and trust were set up as important psychological factors determining acceptance of gene-recombination technology in the structural equation model. An additional factor, “sense of bioethics,” which I consider to be important for acceptance of biotechnology, was added to the model. Based on previous studies, trust was set up to have an indirect influence on the acceptance of gene-recombination technology through perceived risk and perceived benefit in the model. Participants were 231 undergraduate students in Japan who answered a questionnaire with a 5-point bipolar scale. The results indicated that the proposed model fits the data well, and showed that acceptance of gene-recombination technology is explained largely by four factors, that is, perceived risk, perceived benefit, trust, and sense of bioethics, whether the technology is applied to plants, animals, or human beings. However, the relative importance of the four factors was found to vary depending on whether the gene-recombination technology was applied to plants, animals, or human beings. Specifically, the factor of sense of bioethics is the most important factor in acceptance of plant gene-recombination technology and animal gene-recombination technology, and the factors of trust and perceived risk are the most important factors in acceptance of human being gene-recombination technology.