Tailoring Taylor: locus of control and attitudes toward genetically altering children
This study investigated whether or not a relationship exists between stated attitudes toward genetically altering one's own children and scores on Rotter's Locus of Control Scale. Locus of control was determined by participant's score (low to high) on the locus of control scale, categorizing those who scored low as internal in regard to perceived control and those who scored high as external in regard to perceived control. Attitudes toward genetic alterations were determined by participant responses to 2 questions following 3 hypothetical scenarios in which participants were asked to rate their likelihoods to cure a genetic disease, enhance physical potential, or enhance intellectual potential in their unborn child through genetic manipulation. Participants were also asked to rate the likelihood of endorsing the procedure to a friend. I hypothesized that Internals, who believe situational outcomes are directly due to their own efforts and energies, are more likely to support gene manipulation in each hypothetical scenario than Externals, who believe that outcomes are due more to powerful outside forces, such as fate or luck. Results indicated that there was a main effect for locus of control and scenario responses. Internals were more likely on average for all scenarios to support the idea of genetically modifying their own children, for enhancement or curative reasons than externals were. Internals were also more likely on average for all scenarios to endorse the alteration to a friend in a similar situation than externals were.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Gromadzin, Barbara, "Tailoring Taylor: locus of control and attitudes toward genetically altering children" (2003). HIM 1990-2015. 326.