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Dr. Yang Yang (PhD) of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy presents as part of the Economics Speaker Series

The Power of Stories in Communicating Novel Food Technology

A seminar by Dr. Yang Yang (PhD), hosted by the USask Department of Economics


Date: Friday, Nov. 26
Time: 3–4:30 pm
Location: Edwards School of Business room 18, 25 Campus Dr.

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About this event

Part of the Economics Speaker Series hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Department of Economics

Speaker: Dr. Yang Yang (PhD), Assistant Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Abstract: This research explores information framing effects by comparing the effectiveness of using logical-scientific versus narrative information to communicate with consumers about a new biotechnology application (gene editing). Using data from an online survey of 804 Canadian adults, a discrete choice experiment elicits preferences for diverse novel food attributes and technologies, with respondents randomly assigned to different information conditions. We construct a logical-scientific information condition, written in a scientific style using the passive voice with generalized and impersonal language and attributed to either a government agency or a scientific organization. In contrast, we frame the narrative-style information condition as a story, using a lively and vivid personal style, and attributed to either a science journalist or a consumer blogger. Data are analyzed using multinomial logit and random parameters logit models. We find that the information format (logical-scientific vs. narrative) matters: narratives help reduce negative perceptions regarding agricultural and food technologies. We also examine factors that predispose consumers to seek logical-scientific versus narrative information sources.

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