Opposition to paraxylene plant development in China: Information, emotion, trust, and risk

Ming Xue1, Huizhang Shen1, Jidi Zhao2
1Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University, People’s Republic of China
2School of Public Administration, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Xue, M., Shen, H., & Zhao, J. (2018). Opposition to paraxylene plant development in China: Information, emotion, trust, and risk. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(11), 1815-1832.

Volume 46 Issue 11 | e7269 | Published: November 2018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7269

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In China people have recently taken part in protests against building of paraxylene (PX) plants. Therefore, we investigated factors associated with residents’ opposition to building of PX plants in their neighborhood, district, or city. Survey data were collected from 222 people, and structural equation modeling was performed to verify relationships between residents’ oppositional intentions and the factors of self-identity, group identity, trust in government, and perceived risk. Results showed perceived risk and self-identity were significant predictors of oppositional intentions, whereas group identity had no significant effect on oppositional intentions. Trust in government had an indirect effect on oppositional intentions through perceived risk. Negative emotions significantly influenced trust in government and perceived risk, and through them indirectly affected oppositional intentions; perceived information quality indirectly affected oppositional intentions through perceived risk and trust in government. The findings illuminated that promoting public trust in the government by enhancing information disclosure and alleviating negative emotions are effective ways to decrease risk perception and opposition to PX plants.

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