Date of Award

Spring 4-7-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Marci Culley

Second Advisor

Julia Perilla

Third Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Abstract

Global climate change (GCC) may be the most pressing social and environmental issue of our time. The use of fossil fuels tops the list of human behaviors that contribute to GCC. Several ‘alternative’ energy sources are now being considered in an effort to mitigate GCC, including—controversially—nuclear energy. Examined here were environmental worldview and faith in science as moderators of the relationship between beliefs about and attitudes toward nuclear energy (ATNE). Participants were 272 college students who completed an on-line survey. Predictor variables were beliefs about whether nuclear energy contributes to GCC (GCC-beliefs) and to energy independence (EI-beliefs). Results indicated that environmental worldview moderated the negative relationship between GCC-beliefs and ATNE. Results implied that the effectiveness of arguments salient to the current nuclear energy debate concerning GCC have a medium effect on ATNE except when people are more ecocentric in their environmental worldviews.

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Psychology Commons

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