Effects of information presentation on regulatory decisions for products of biotechnology

Abstract

Experts and laypeople often have to make judgements based on a large body of evidence that is uncertain and inconclusive. Theory suggests people are likely to modify their decisions according to how information is framed and structured. This study assesses the effect of information form (text versus numerical) and sequence (bundled versus non-bundled) on decision outcomes regarding the regulation of plants with novel traits. Both experts and laypersons were surveyed and offered one of eight different treatments that tested for the effect of information presentation, the effect of the assigned decision role (as an individual or a member of a decision committee), and the structure of the decision itself. Results show that non-experts are more prone than experts to change their decisions when faced with different structures or decision architectures, especially when the form of information changes.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The list of all PNT approved in Canada can be found at: http://inspection.gc.ca/active/netapp/plantnoveltraitpnt-vegecarnouvcn/pntvcne.aspx.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to Genome Canada for financial assistance (through the VALGEN project managed by Genome Prairie) and for the advice of two anonymous reviewers. The authors also acknowledge Dr. Simona Lubieniechi (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A8, Canada. simona.lubieniechi@usask.ca) for her contribution to the survey design.

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Correspondence to Rim Lassoued.

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Lassoued, R., Hesseln, H., Phillips, P.W.B. et al. Effects of information presentation on regulatory decisions for products of biotechnology. EURO J Decis Process 8, 151–175 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40070-020-00114-9

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Keywords

  • Group judgment
  • Individual judgment
  • Information form
  • Information sequence
  • Innovation
  • Plants with novel trait

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 90B50
  • 94A15
  • 68U15
  • 68T37