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Demographic and consumer characteristics
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Does the U.S. public support using gene drives in agriculture? And what do they want to know?

Procedure

We included in our statistical analysis standard demographic variables that may relate to public opinion of agricultural gene drive applications. The following variables were provided by GfK (not asked in survey instrument): Female is coded 1 = “female” and 0 = “male” (51.8% female). Age is measured in years (M = 50.7, SD = 16.2, and weighted mean = 47.3). For race, White is coded 1 = “white” and 0 = “otherwise” (64.0% white). GfK provides up to 21 levels for income, coded 1 = “less than \$5,000,” 2 = “\$5,000 to \$7,499,” 3 = “\$7,500 to \$9,999,” 4 = “\$10,000 to \$12,499,” 5 = “\$12,500 to \$14,999,” 6 = “\$15,000 to \$19,999,” 7 = “\$20,000 to \$24,999,” 8 = “\$25,000 to \$29,999,” 9 = “\$30,000 to \$34,999,” 10 = “\$35,000 to \$39,999,” 11 = “\$40,000 to \$49,999,” 12 = “\$50,000 to \$59,999,” 13 = “\$60,000 to \$74,999,” 14 = “\$75,000 to \$84,999,” 15 = “\$85,000 to \$99,999,” 16 = “\$100,000 to \$124,999,” 17 = “\$125,000 to \$149,999,” 18 = “\$150,000 to \$174,999,” 19 = “\$175,000 to \$199,999,” 20 = “200,000 to \$249,000,” and 21 = “\$250,000 or more” (median = 13).

We collected additional education information at a more granular level than the standard GfK-provided indicators to examine the potential importance of an undergraduate and graduate education with a topic as potentially complex as gene drives. The base level was “no college” (40.0%). Next, separate variables were coded for Some college as 1 = “some college” and 0 = “otherwise” (28.6% some college), Bachelor Degree as 1 = “bachelors” and 0 = otherwise (17.8% bachelor), and Graduate Degree as 1 = “masters” or “PhD” and 0 = otherwise (13.7% graduate). While not part of the GfK-supplied demographic information, Religiosity, or “how much guidance does religion provide in your everyday life?”, has been shown to affect U.S. public opinion on some human genome–editing applications (40). This variable was measured on an 11-point scale from 0 = “No guidance at all” to 10 = “A great deal of guidance” (M = 6.32, SD = 3.68, and weighted mean = 6.41).

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