Thirty Catholic and thirty Protestant students rated 60 Northern Irish towns for violence, unemployment and denominational composition. Correlations between the scales and objective data indicated that subjects' perceptions had considerable validity overall, though not for the smallest towns. High inter-group correlations suggested that Catholics and Protestants were using similar information to form judgements, even when their judgements were wrong. In a second study, 34 further subjects rated the same towns on scales of personal familiarity and knowledge. These scales correlated well with population data confirming the importance of information availability in judgement formation. Analyses suggested that subjects were forming judgements rationally, even in the presence of limited information, and that `media-worthy' events might play a special role in their thinking. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
|Journal||Journal of Environmental Psychology|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Sept 2000|