Political Behavior

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 259–286 | Cite as

Belief systems concerning the environment: The general public, attentive publics, and state legislators

  • John C. Pierce
  • Nicholas P. LovrichJr.
Article

Abstract

This paper examines multiple characteristics of belief systems among people at different levels in the policy process using the same measures in the same time period. More specifically, it analyzes belief systems concerning the environment among the general public, several attentive publics, and state legislators in Idaho. The following belief system characteristics are probed: horizontal constraint among specific issue beliefs, and between general environmental orientations and party and ideology; vertical constraint between the general environmental orientation and specific issue beliefs; and the role of general orientations in screening incoming information. Legislators are more likely to connect their environmental beliefs to partisan and ideological orientations. However, attentive and general public respondents do exhibit substantial constraintwithin the environmental issue domain; individual self-placement on a preservationist-developmentalist dimension appears to provide a cohering force in orientations to the environment. While legislators exhibit greater belief connections with general political orientations, the results also suggest an order in the public's beliefs about the environment and in the nature of conflict over the environment.

Keywords

General Public Belief System Political Orientation Policy Process Multiple Characteristic 

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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Pierce
    • 1
  • Nicholas P. LovrichJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceWashington State UniversityUSA

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