Incorporating Communication Factors in the Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Chinese University Students’ Intention to Consume Genetically Modified Foods

Li Li, John Robert Bautista


Aside from personal beliefs, the decision to consume genetically modified foods (GMFs) can be explained by individuals’ elaboration of information gained from the media and interpersonal discussion. Based on this idea, we incorporated communication factors (i.e., media attention, interpersonal discussion, and elaboration) with factors derived from the theory of planned behavior (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control) to predict intention to consume GMFs in China. Results of the hierarchical regression analysis based on Web survey data from 467 university students showed that attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control were positively related to intention to consume GMFs. Although all communication factors did not predict intention to consume GMFs, we found that elaboration moderated the relationship between media attention and interpersonal discussion to intention to consume GMFs. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


genetically modified foods, theory of planned behavior, media attention, interpersonal discussion, elaboration

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