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Preventing Nuclear War

Resource Type
  • Slovic, Paul (Decision Research)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Effective Giving
Free Keywords
virtuous vilence; punishment
  • Abstract

    This study aimed to replicate and extend research by Sagan and Valentino (2017) that found almost 60% of the American public would approve of killing vast numbers of Iranian civilians with a nuclear bomb in hopes of ending a ground war that threatened the lives of 20,000 American troops. The two studies replicated the pattern of results in Sagan and Valentino and added to it in several important ways. We found the political differences observed by Sagan and Valentino and found them to be extreme. We also found the strong effects associated with emotional distancing and dehumanization using new questions (circles overlap) and the ascent of man figures. We, too, found that those who approved the nuclear option believed that it was ethical and the Iranian government was responsible for the killing of their civilians. In addition, we found insensitivity to a 20 fold increase in estimated casualties across two scenarios in Survey 1. The findings from the analyses of survey 1 were replicated in survey 2, substituting the drone retaliation decision for the nuclear weapons decision.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2019-08-27 / 2019-08-28
    Collection Date(s): Tue Aug 27 00:00:00 EDT 2019--Wed Aug 28 00:00:00 EDT 2019
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Smallest Geographic Unit: United States
Convenience sample
Collection Mode
  • web-based survey~~


Update Metadata: 2020-01-23 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-01-23

Slovic, Paul (2020): Preventing Nuclear War. Version: V0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.