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Evidence of biased processing of natural resource-related information: A study of attitudes toward drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Teel, Tara L.; Bright, Alan D.; Manfredo, Michael J.; Brooks, Jeffrey J. 2006. Evidence of biased processing of natural resource-related information: A study of attitudes toward drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Society and Natural Resources. 19 (5): 447-463

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which individuals process natural resource-related information in a biased manner. Data were gathered using surveys administered to students enrolled in undergraduate classes at Colorado State University. Students' attitudes toward Arctic drilling were evaluated both before and after they were exposed to exaggerated information about both sides of the issue. Consistent with initial expectations, respondents' attitudes did not change as a result of exposure to new information. Respondents defended their initial attitudes in rating the quality of the information. Those who expressed initial support for drilling evaluated pro-drilling arguments more favorably and discounted anti-drilling arguments, while those in opposition to drilling tended to favor the anti-drilling arguments in their evaluations. Evidence of biased processing suggests that the provision of factual information may not be enough if the goal of education programs is to change attitudes toward controversial natural resource issues.

Keywords: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, attitudes, biased processing, education, information, natural resource issues, oil drilling


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http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2006_teel_t001.pdf

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Evidence of biased processing of natural resource-related information: A study of attitudes toward drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Electronic Publish Date: August 31, 2007
Last Update:
August 31, 2007

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