同志社大学ヒューマン・セキュリティ研究センター年報, 2008, 第5号, 35-50.
Judgment of Public Acceptance of a Technology Accompanied by
the Risk of Potential Disasters
- Logic, emotion and value -
While complex technologies can benefit society, the benefits can be
accompanied by the risk of potential disasters. How do lay citizens judge
whether to accept or reject technologies that carry such risks？ It is
often said that judgments made by the public at large are irrational and
based on emotion. Is the public therefore attracted by emotional messages？
The present research approached this question by conducting a communication
experiment on the public judgment of electricity produced by thermal plutonium.
Five hundred and six students responded to one of five NPO pamphlets explaining
the technology. The results suggested that 1)emotion−oriented messages
were less effective than factual ones, 2)participants did not clearly differentiate
their values on which they made their judgments, and 3)participants whose
judgments were well−grounded trusted the NPO based on a perceived similarity
of values, while perception of the NPO's fairness was the basis for those
who made judgments based on emotion. Finally, implications of these results
for the practice of communication on technologies were discussed.