Perceptions and attitude effects on nanotechnology acceptance: an exploratory framework

  • Rajani Ganesh PillaiEmail author
  • Achintya N. BezbaruahEmail author


Existing literature in people’s attitude toward nanotechnology and acceptance of nanotechnology applications has generally investigated the impact of factors at the individual or context levels. While this vast body of research is very informative, a comprehensive understanding of how attitude toward nanotechnology are formed and factors influencing the acceptance of nanotechnology are elusive. This paper proposes an exploratory nanotechnology perception-attitude-acceptance framework (Nano-PAAF) to build a systematic understanding of the phenomenon. The framework proposes that perceptions of risks and benefits of nanotechnology are influenced by cognitive, affective, and sociocultural factors. The sociodemographic factors of consumers and contextual factors mitigate the influence of cognitive, affective, and sociocultural factors on the perception of risks and benefits. The perceived risks and benefits in turn influence people’s attitude toward nanotechnology, which then influences acceptance of nanotechnology products. This framework will need further development over time to incorporate emerging knowledge and is expected to be useful for researchers, decision and policy makers, industry, and business entities.


Risk perception Benefit perception Attitude towards nanotechnology Nanotechnology acceptance Societal implications 


Compliance with ethical standards


A part of this study (2012–2014) was supported with funds from National Science Foundation (NSF grant no. CMMI-1125674, PI: Bezbaruah), and additional work done in 2015–2016 was supported with funds from National Institute for Food and Agriculture (AFRI-USDA-NIFA, grant no. 2012-67018-30186, project no. ND05048, PI: Bezbaruah).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and Marketing, College of BusinessNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Civil and Environmental EngineeringNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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