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Abstract

With new food technologies such as cloning or added artificial growth hormones, consumers face complex and conflicting information related to the quality, safety, nutrition, and ethical outcomes associated with food choices. Economics has partially addressed the challenge of predicting people’s choices and willingness-to-pay for new food technologies by using experimental methods, but thus far has offered little to explain why choices are made. The emerging field of neuroeconomics, which integrates the findings of economics, psychology, and neuroscience, can provide unique insights into consumer preferences. The purpose of this research is to enhance understanding of consumers’ preferences for new food technologies by capitalizing on recent developments in economics and neuroscience. Specifically, this research seeks to determine how the human brain responds to the controversial newer food technologies as compared to standard, “rational” food attributes such as product price.

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