Environmental Risk Perceptions over Time and Across National Contexts: A Comparative, Multilevel Study

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Sandra MARQUART-PYATT, Michigan State University, USA
Environmental issues and perceptions are increasingly recognized as topics of importance to a global audience.  A growing number of scholars in the social sciences seek to describe trends in public opinion about environmental concerns cross-nationally using a variety of measures and analytical techniques.  This research examines public opinion on the environment in cross-national context using three waves of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) Environment data (1993, 2000, and 2010).   I use multilevel structural equation modeling to 1) construct a latent variable of environmental risk perception across the three waves of the survey for samples of 20, 26 and 36 countries and 2) examine the individual-level and country-level predictors of environmental risk perception across the countries in these three waves of data.  At the individual level, age, gender, urban residence and knowledge affect risk perception.  At the national level, environmental conditions and political factors affect environmental risk perceptions.  Results from cross-level interactions for age and knowledge affirm complex relations between the predictors, countries, and time.  Particular attention is given to how this investigation offers insights and directions for future research regarding how environmental issues and opinions are linked over time and varying scales.