|Title||The elephant in the room: How a technology’s name affects its interpretation|
|Author(s)||Boersma, Reginald; Poortvliet, P.M.; Gremmen, Bart|
|Source||Public Understanding of Science 28 (2018)2. - ISSN 0963-6625 - p. 218 - 233.|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||attitudes - genomics - learning - nanotechnology - public education|
In this work, using experiments, we investigate the role of the name of a technology on the informed evaluation of that technology. We argue that a name can influence interpretations by activating cognitive structures. Using genomics-accelerated breeding as a case, we show that the name ‘genomics’ makes people evaluate related information as similar to genetic modification. Replacing the name ‘genomics’ with ‘natural crossing’ causes evaluations similar to those for traditional breeding. The results show that a name can have a strong influence on public attitudes, and we call for more consideration in choosing a name for a technology.