Date of Award
Program or Major
Recreation Management and Policy
Master of Science
This study explores relationships between (1) knowledge and acceptance of federal wilderness designation and (2) increased knowledge and acceptability of federal wilderness designation with integrative complexity. Integrative complexity describes the structure of thoughts people have about an issue such as federal wilderness designation. Breaking traditional qualitative measurement techniques, a new scalar instrument was tested in this study to measure integrative complexity. Data were collected from undergraduate students at the University of New Hampshire (N=102), utilizing a pretest-posttest comparison group research design. As hypothesized, increased knowledge resulted in increased acceptance of federal wilderness designation. Conversely, integrative complexity scores decreased slightly as knowledge and acceptability increased. These findings support management efforts aimed at education, and imply that people may actually create stronger dichotomies about an issue when educated on that topic.
McLaughlin, Sean, "The effects of knowledge and integrative complexity on acceptance of federal wilderness designation" (2007). Master's Theses and Capstones. 273.