The existing research base on public attitudes about genetics shows that people's attitudes vary according to the specific technologies and purposes to which genetic knowledge is applied. Genetic testing is viewed highly favorably, genetically modified food is viewed with ambivalence, and cloning is viewed negatively. Attitudes are favorable for uses that maintain a perceived natural order and unfavorable for uses that are perceived to change it. Public concerns about control of genetic information and eugenics are evident, but their strength and relevance to policy preference are unclear. The pattern of attitudes can be explained by theories of attitude formation, and the existing base of information can be deepened and given more explanatory and predictive power by integrating future research into the various traditions that theorize attitude formation.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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