People may differ in the degree to which they accept certain facts. This can be seen as part of cognitive dissonance or, in other words, a clash between incompatible ideas.

A good example of this is the theory of evolution, which is a well-established scientific theory. The theory of evolution is, of course, fundamental to understanding how life on earth developed and develops. It contrasts with literal interpretations of various religious texts.

The Generalized Acceptance of EvolutioN Evaluation (GAENE) is a newer scale on this subject than the older MATE. Also, there are other scales than GAENE and MATE.

GAENE should be pronounced as "gene".
The study by Smith, Snyder, & Devereaux, 2016 gives a great comparison of the different scales available:

For example, most of these measures [ed: list provided in paper] do not present an explicit definition of acceptance used to guide scale development. Many measures include very few items or even only a single item, and such brief measures typically have low reliabilities. Many reports present little or no information about how the scale item(s) were generated; others present no evidence of reliability or validity testing. Still others present validation data but the validation process is weak and/or does not employ sound practices typically employed in other fields. (Further discussion of shortcomings of these measures is found in the following section along with specific examples).

— Smith et al. (2016)
The paper by Smith, Snyder, & Devereaux, 2016 is a really good example of how to design a questionnaire survey. Highly recommended for psychology students who need to learn about this topic.

The rigorous development process can also serve as a model for others interested in measure development.

— Smith et al. (2016)

The average score in a secondary and post-secondary student population from across the US (n=671) was 3.77 points (on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0).

Run the demo

The GAENE can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Smith, Snyder, & Devereaux, 2016).


This is a simple scale question with no reverse coded items.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- Strongly disagree
- Disagree
- I don't know / no opinion
- Agree
- Strongly Agree

l: gaene
t: scale agree
o: width 50%
q: For the following items, please indicate your agreement/disagreement with the given statements:
- Everyone should understand evolution.
- It is important to let people know about how strong the evidence that supports evolution is.
- Some parts of evolution theory could be true.
- Evolutionary theory applies to all plants and animals, including humans.
- People who plan to become biologists need to understand evolution.
- I would be willing to argue in favor of evolutionary in a public forum such as a school club, church group, or meeting of public school parents.
- Simple organisms such as bacteria change over time.
- Nothing in biology makes sense without evolution.
- Understanding evolution helps me understand the other parts of biology.
- I would be willing to argue in favor of evolution in a small group of friends.
- Evolution is a good explanation of how humans first emerged on the earth.
- Evolution is a scientific fact.
- Evolution is a good explanation of how new species arise.

l: gaene_score
t: set
- mean $gaene

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your GAENE score (range 1.0 to 5.0) is {$gaene_score}.


  • Smith, M.U., Snyder, S.W., and Devereaux, R.S. (2016). The GAENE—Generalized Acceptance of EvolutioN Evaluation: Development of a New Measure of Evolution Acceptance. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(9), 1289-1315.

The authors wrote me that a copy of the full measure is available free of charge in the publication above.