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Abstract

To be effective, groups that disseminate information need the trust of consumers. When multiple groups provide conflicting information on a new product or process like GM-foods, consumers place different levels of trust in the various sources. We present a model of the contributions of personal and social capital of a consumer, and test a multinominal logit model of relative trust in five different sources of information on genetic modification using a unique data set. Among our findings is that an increase in consumer's education lowers the probability of trusting information from government, private industry/organizations, consumer and environmental groups, or other sources relative to information from an independent, third-party source, and conservative religious affiliation reduces the odds of a consumer trusting private industry/organization and increases the odds of trusting nobody relative to an independent, third-party source.

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