Verification of information through direct experiences with an industrial hazard

O. Wiegman, Jan M. Gutteling, Hendrik Boer

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    In this study, differences in feelings of insecurity and ways of coping were assessed between residents of a chemical complex and a control group at a distance of at least 15 km from that complex. The results show that the residents of the industrial area judge the hazards as less threatening and less unacceptable than the control group and report less feelings of insecurity. The residents are less likely to read newspaper articles concerning environmental or industrial hazards and judge these newspaper accounts to be less credible than the control group. No differences were found between the residents of the chemical complex and the control group with regard to another hazard, living in the vicinity of a storage facility for radioactive waste. Our results are mainly explained by social learning theory in which it is assumed that, by a process of verification, the residents of the chemical complex are less affected by the alarming content of mass media reporting and are less negatively biased than people in the control area
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)325-339
    Number of pages15
    JournalBasic and applied social psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


    • METIS-149053

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