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The exploration of public attitudes toward animal research is important given recent developments in animal research (e.g., increasing creation and use of genetically modified animals, and plans for progress in areas such as personalized medicine), and the shifting relationship between science and society (i.e., a move toward the democratization of science). As such, public engagement on issues related to animal research, including exploration of public attitudes, provides a means of achieving socially acceptable scientific practice and oversight through an understanding of societal values and concerns. Numerous studies have been conducted to explore public attitudes toward animal use, and more specifically the use of animals in research. This paper reviews relevant literature using three categories of influential factors: personal and cultural characteristics, animal characteristics, and research characteristics. A critique is given of survey style methods used to collect data on public attitudes, and recommendations are given on how best to address current gaps in public attitudes literature.


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