Effects of Education and Media Framing on Genetic Knowledge and Attitudes

Gallop, Lucy; Chapman, Robert; Selita, Fatos and Kovas, Yulia. 2017. Effects of Education and Media Framing on Genetic Knowledge and Attitudes. The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences EpSBS, 33(13), pp. 121-141. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Genetic education is paramount to continued genetic advances, as well as for beneficial use of the outcomes of such advances. However, a large body of literature suggests that the public’s genetic literacy remains inadequate. Previous research has found a positive relationship between educational level and genetic literacy. The current research explores this in 2 samples of UK students: school (A-Level) and undergraduates. A between groups ANOVA revealed a significant difference in genetic literacy scores between the educational levels. The current study further explored genetic literacy of Psychology undergraduates, as psychologists are likely to play a key role in the genomic era, for example contributing to genomic research and providing genetic counselling. Results revealed low genetic literacy in Psychology undergraduate students, highlighting the need for genetic education improvements. To this end, experimental manipulations were conducted to investigate the effects of media framing and feedback on views of genetic determinism and knowledge calibration. A between groups ANOVA showed no significant difference between high and low determinism media framing. The knowledge calibration findings suggested that participants were underconfident in their genetic knowledge. No correlation was found between knowledge and perceived knowledge (confidence) in the group of participants who received feedback. In contrast, a positive correlation between knowledge and confidence was found in the no-feedback condition. Future research is needed to build on these findings.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Knowledge Calibration, Genetic Literacy, Psychology Undergraduates, Science Communication, Media Framing

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30 November 2017Accepted
12 December 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2019 10:33

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2021 15:46

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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