Disarmament Decisions as Social Dilemmas

John T. Chibnall, Richard L. Wiener

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Abstract

The individual deciding on a nuclear weapons production policy is faced with a dilemma in which a choice must be made to support one of several conflicting defense policies. In order to investigate the social‐psychological variables that are related to armament policy decision making, a telephone survey was conducted in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. Adult subjects (N= 110) responded to questions concerned with cognitive, attitudinal, and emotional responses to nuclear arms. Participants were also asked to choose a weapons production policy for the United States under conditions of continued and decreased Soviet nuclear arms production. Results indicated that respondents decisions about nuclear weapons production were related to their support for deterrence, the availability of their nuclear‐related images, their emotional response to nuclear war, their attributions of responsibility for the prevention of nuclear war, and their political party affiliation. Distinctions between antinuclear decision‐makers and pronuclear decision‐makers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-879
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume18
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1988

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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