A survey examined the relation between 264 Canadian students' value priorities (Rokeach, 1967) and their attitudes toward nuclear weapons and reasoning about the issue of allowing nuclear weapons in Canada. Regression analyses revealed that their attitudes became more favorable toward nuclear weapons as they placed more importance on the value of national security and less importance on peace. Over and above these attitudinal differences, however, they differed in the extent to which they regarded national security and peace as relevant to the issue of nuclear weapons. Hence, these findings were consistent with Kristiansen and Zanna's (1988) value justification hypothesis, which claims that people with different attitudes will attempt to justify them by appeals to different values. In addition, the degree to which subjects displayed integratively complex reasoning about nuclear weapons was a function of their attitudes: Those who opposed or favored nuclear weapons displayed less complex reasoning than those with more neutral attitudes. Finally, the integrative complexity of subjects' reasoning was not a function of the extent to which they deemed national security and peace as highly and equally important values. Possible explanations for this failure to replicate Tetlock's (1986) value pluralism model of ideological reasoning are considered.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224545.1990.9922959
Journal Journal of Social Psychology
Kristiansen, C.M, & Matheson, K. (1990). Value conflict, value justification, and attitudes toward nuclear weapons. Journal of Social Psychology, 130(5), 665–675. doi:10.1080/00224545.1990.9922959