Explaining Local Residents' Attitudes toward Shale Gas Exploitation: The Mediating Roles of Risk and Benefit Perceptions
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Using Fishbein's multi-attribute model, this paper proposes that the impact of socio-demographic and psychosocial factors on local residents' overall attitude toward shale gas exploitation (SGE) is mediated by their risk and benefit perceptions. The proposition has been validated with the generalized structural equation modeling approach with a cross-sectional dataset of 825 residents from China's Fuling shale gas field. Results indicate that the influence of benefit perception on residents'
... on on residents' overall attitude outweighs that of risk perception. Moreover, residents' perceived fairness, affective feeling, and trust in regulatory agencies have positive influences on their overall attitude, primarily via their risk and benefit perceptions, in decreasing order of influences. Finally, we also find that residents' attitudes have been significantly influenced by their socio-demographic factors, including age, residential area, and political ideology. Thus, our study extends the literature with theoretical and empirical models by exploring the influences factors of local residents' attitudes toward SGE, and results from our empirical survey provide insight into policy design to promote the acceptance of SGE.