Psychological Factors in the Nuclear Power Controversy

Levi, D. J., & Holder, E. E. (1988). Psychological factors in the nuclear power controversy. Political Psychology, 9, 3, 445-457.

Surveyed 289 undergraduates (approximate age 18-21 yrs) attending school near a nuclear power (NP) plant to examine beliefs and emotions that underlie attitudes toward nuclear power. Results show that NP proponents and opponents were equally knowledgeable about NP factual information, but Ss who supported nuclear energy expressed more trust in credibility of information received from government and industry officials and were more trusting that officials would protect the public. Proponents and opponents did not differ on emotional measures, but opponents were more fearful about safety problems at the NP plant.

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