Values, Emotions, and Benefit-Risk Assessment: Explicating Local Policy Elites' Perceived Utility of the High Voltage Power Line Installations Proposed in the State of Arkansas
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Expansion of the National Energy Grid is critical to the U.S. economy and its energy security. However, the installation of high voltage power lines (HVPLs) often leads to controversial policy debates mainly due to disagreements concerning its undesirable impacts on natural environments and human health, especially in the immediate affected region. In order to comprehend the formation and fluctuations of related government policies in this context, it is critical to examine the ways in which local policy elites’ attitudes develop in regard to the installation of HVPLs. Of particular interest in this research is to understand how and why local policy elites acquire their respective perceptions of the utility of the proposed HVPL installation in the Ozark mountain area in the state of Arkansas. Building upon previous research rooted on the dual process model of decision-making, we further investigate the triadic relationships between (1) more profound personal values, (2) emotions, and (3) perceived benefits and risks related to HVPL installations among local policy elites in the state of Arkansas. In doing so, we pay particular attention to the relationships between culturally biased value predispositions, specific emotional dimensions of affect heuristics, and domain specific perceptions pertaining to HVPL risks and benefits, while analyzing original data collected from a recent statewide Internet survey of 420 anonymous community leaders and key local policymakers (e.g., members of city council and chamber of commerce) in Arkansas about their opinions on the related issues.