The Role of Affect and Worldviews as Orienting Dispositions in the Perception and Acceptance of Nuclear Power
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Recent research in risk perception has examined the role of affect and worldviews as orienting dispositions that guide people's decisions about complex and risky topics such as nuclear energy. This study tests and supports the hypothesis that worldviews and affect-laden imagery and highly predictive of perceptions of risk from nuclear power and support for the technology. Furthermore, affect and worldviews each contribute independently to the prediction of nuclear support. We find also that a person's affective imagery associated with nuclear power is systematically related to their worldviews. We conclude that affect and worldviews appear to play similar roles as orienting mechanisms, helping people navigate in a complex, uncertain, and sometimes dangerous world. The implication of this view for the practice of risk communication is briefly discussed.