Nuclear knowledge and nuclear anxiety: A cross-cultural investigation
Zweigenhaft, R.L., Jennings, P., Rubinstein, S.C. and Hoorn, J.V. (1986) Nuclear knowledge and nuclear anxiety: A cross-cultural investigation. The Journal of Social Psychology, 126 (4). pp. 473-484.
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Based on survey responses of 1,115 male and female secondary school, college, and university students in North Carolina, California, England, and Western Australia, this study explored the relationship between the students' knowledge of nuclear weapons (“nuclear knowledge”) and (a) anxiety about nuclear war, (b) expectations about conditions in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, and (c) various attitudes about nuclear weapons. No consistent relationship was found between nuclear knowledge and nuclear anxiety for any of the samples. A consistent relationship existed between nuclear knowledge and expectations about the aftermath of a nuclear attack: In each group, those who knew more were more likely to be pessimistic about the conditions in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Although there were significant relationships between nuclear knowledge and various attitudes about nuclear weapons, the magnitude and the direction of these relationships varied from group to group.
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