An overview of surveys on how people view animal experimentation: some factors that may influence the outcome

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Many factors may influence the outcome of surveys on how people view the use of animals in research. Some aspects are related to the instrument used, whereas others are related to the characteristics of the respondents. Conducted in Western countries, the study is primarily a review of 56 surveys targeting scientists, students, and the public. Surveys were obtained from searching online databases and reference lists, or directly from authors whose surveys were not otherwise available. Factors related to the instrument listed include the questionnaire used and wording of questions. Factors related to the respondent include age, gender, upbringing, religion, knowledge, education, and practical experience. Results demonstrate that there was great discrepancy in acceptance/opposition estimations reported in different surveys. It is concluded that interpretation and comparison of results from different surveys should be made with caution.