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Principal Investigator(s): Gregory, Robin, Decision Research
Improving Deliberative Environmental Management Under Uncertainty examined similarities and differences between expert and public understanding of uncertainty. This collection directly compares expert and layperson interpretations and understandings of different expressions of uncertainty, in the context of evaluating the consequences of proposed environmental management actions that influence economic, social, or health concerns. Data were collected via a Web-based survey where respondents were asked a series of questions after they were given four hypothetical scenarios on the following topics: wind farms, vegetation management, superfund site, and salmon. Each scenario described an environmental proposal along with pros and cons then respondents selected a response option with costs and benefits of the proposal in mind. The first scenario focused on a plan to manage forest vegetation in the northeastern United States, using either conventional methods involving aerial spraying of herbicides or more expensive hand spraying methods intended to reduce adverse impacts on local moose populations. The second scenario focused on a proposal to build a new windfarm in a western state, which would lower electricity rates to local communities but could have negative effects on resident songbird populations. The third scenario focused on a plan to clean up hazardous waste at a large industrial Superfund site. The waste was estimated to have caused 200 children to develop serious respiratory illness from exposure to contaminated drinking water; building a decontamination facility would reduce the number of sick children but would be very expensive and would take time to build. The fourth scenario focused on a plan to reduce the declining population of Chinook Salmon. In order to reduce the Chinook Salmon declines in the Seshon River, an advisory committee must find a balance between the protection of salmon and the use of water to generate electricity, which is a cause in salmon reduction. Participants responded to hypothetical but realistic scenarios involving trade-offs between options presented and other objectives, and were asked a series of questions about their comprehension of the uncertainty information, their preferred choice among the alternatives, and the associated difficulty and amount of effort. Respondents were asked general questions which ranged from how they felt about a particular issue to how easy or difficult it was to answer the questions associated with each scenario. Demographic information includes gender, age and education level.
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Gregory, Robin. Improving Deliberative Environmental Management Under Uncertainty, 2009-2010. ICPSR34809-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-08-30. doi:10.3886/ICPSR34809.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34809.v1
This study was funded by:
- National Science Foundation (0725025)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: decision making, energy production, environmental attitudes, environmental impact, environmental policy, environmental protection, health problems, judgment, natural resources, risk management, wildlife
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: Decision Research Web-panel participants located throughout the United States.
Data Types: experimental data
Data Collection Notes:
Special collaborators for Improving Deliberative Environmental Management Under Uncertainty, 2009-2010, include Nathan Dieckmann and Ellen Peters.
Study Design: Please refer to the Original P.I. Documentation in the ICPSR Codebook for further information on study design.
Sample: Public Sample: Nationally representative, convienence sample of Decision Research web-panel participants located throughout the United States. Expert Sample: Web site organized by United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) for employees who have undertaken some previous training in resource management and decision-making. Please refer to Original P.I. Documentation in the ICPSR Codebook for further information on sampling.
Mode of Data Collection: web-based survey
Description of Variables: This collection contains 113 variables.
Response Rates: The response rate for the public is 95 percent. The response rate for the expert sample is 27 percent. Please refer to the Original P.I. Documentation in the ICPSR Codebook for further information on response rates.
Presence of Common Scales: Two 10-item Numeracy Scales
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2013-08-30
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