Construction of a Nuclear Power Station in One's Locality: Attitudes and Salience

Van-der-Pligt, J., Eiser, J. R., & Spears, R. (1986). Construction of a nuclear power station in one's locality: Attitudes and salience. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 7, 1, 1-15.

Examined the attitudes toward the building of a nuclear power station in one's locality by surveying 290 residents (mean age 47.5 yrs) of 3 small rural communities that were listed as possible locations for a new nuclear power station. Results show that a large majority of Ss opposed the building of the power station. Attitudinal differences were not only related to differential evaluations of potential benefits and costs but also to differences in perceived importance of the various consequences. Results show that the perception of the long-term risks are most differentially perceived by the attitude groups. Psychological risks were found to be the best predictor of individual attitudes. Findings indicate that public attitudes toward building a nuclear power station in the neighborhood are more extreme and more opposed than are attitudes toward building more nuclear power stations elsewhere. Findings are discussed in terms of the relations between attitudes, expectations of potential costs and benefits, and perceived importance or salience of these outcomes. (16 ref)

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