This study examines the factors influencing public and experts' attitudes toward nanotechnology. Compared with the experts, the public judged nanotechnology as having greater risks and lesser benefits, and indicated less support for federal funding of nanotechnology. Experts used trust in scientists while public used religious beliefs as heuristic cues to make risk judgments. Although deference to scientific authority, science media use, and trust in scientists shaped perceived benefits in both groups, these heuristic cues influenced public perceptions to a larger extent than experts' perceptions. Experts used relatively less cues to form decision about funding support for nanotechnology as compared with the public.
- mass media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science