The quality of attitudinal information regarding natural resource issues: The role of attitude‐strength, importance, and information

  • Bright A
  • Manfredo M
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The decision-making process in natural resource management has historically been guided by information from the biological and physical sciences. However, as the public becomes more knowledgeable about and active regarding natural resource issues, the integration of a multidisciplinary social science component into the natural resource decision-making process becomes essential. One prominent method of social dimension inquiry is the assessment of ublic attitudes toward natural resource issues. A concern of natural resource managers and researchers, however, is the quality of the attitudinal information obtained. One way of assessing the quality of attitudinal information is to examine the predictive validity of attitudes, that is, their ability to predict behavior regarding natural resource issues. This study incorporates the strength of attitudes toward management strategies, the personal importance of a natural resource issue, and the availability of information about the issue into a model of the ability of attitudes to predict support of specific management strategies. Results support the fit of the model, which incorporated individual effects of the study, variables on the predictive validity of attitudes. Results suggest the importance of considering multiple measures of attitude-strength, the salience of an issue to the public, and the need to provide the public with information about the issue. These results have implications for enhancing the quality of attittudinal information, ensuring effective communication between managers and the public, and directions for future research.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Attitude‐certainty
  • Attitude‐extremity
  • Attitude‐strength
  • Availability of information
  • Personal importance of the issue
  • Predictive validity
  • Quality of attitudinal information

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  • Alan D. Bright

  • Michael J. Manfredo

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