Assessing the Extent of the Fukushima Effect on Perception of Multiple Energy Sources and its Implications for Energy Policy
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This paper presents an in-depth analysis of the impact of an unexpected shock to the energy system on affective and cognitive perception of nuclear, coal, natural gas, oil, biomass, solar, and wind energy sources. Surveys conducted with young adults shortly before and after the Fukushima nuclear accident allowed for the identification of key image associations, affects and cognitive beliefs toward multiple energy sources and the examination of the extent of a potential Fukushima effect on energy perception. No support for an affective Fukushima effect is found as image associations and affects toward each energy source remain stable in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster. However, a significant and complex cognitive Fukushima effect on participants’ beliefs is observed. Study findings provide empirical evidence of the relative stability of affective energy perception in the aftermath of an unexpected shock. Furthermore, it highlights the complexity and interdependencies of affective and cognitive energy perception and emphasizes the value of comparative examination of multiple energy sources. Implications for future research and policy makers are discussed.
Available at SSRN 2390093
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