The rise of a new set of complex and highly consequential issues has generated a heated debate about the place of the citizen in the decision-making process. This article examines how citizens choose one policy option over another on nuclear energy and whether informed citizens use a decision calculus fundamentally different from that of the uninformed. Knowledgeable citizens, we find, rely heavily on ideology, which also colors their cost-benefit calculations, while the unknowledgeable draw on their generalized out-looks toward technology and the cues provided by groups involved in the nuclear energy controversy.
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