Skylab effects: Psychological Reactions to a Human-Made Environmental Hazard

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This article reports the results of a field study in Israel into psychological reactions on the day prior to the fall of Skylab. It was reasoned that knowledge about the impending event would result in emotional arousal to the extent that individuals would appraise Skylab as potentially harmful. It was found that subjective estimates of the probability of injury were associated significantly with state and trait anxiety measures. Anxiety scores and subjective estimates were highest among females, young persons, and individuals with relatively few years of formal education. It was suggested that (a) unrealistically high estimates of risk (given by a large proportion of the sample) may be due to inability to handle rationally probabilistic types of information, and (b) “fear of science and technology” (which may be stronger among individuals with low levels of education) may mediate individual differences in anxieW and in appraisal of risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes


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