Authors: Roh Pin Lee
This paper presents an in-depth investigation of changes to affective imageries of nuclear, coal, natural gas, solar and wind energy sources following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. 275 German young adults completed surveys assessing their mental imagery associations and their imagery-specific affects toward multiple energy sources before Fukushima. A comparable sample of 452 participants took part in the study after Fukushima. Content-analysis of energy imageries and quantitative analysis of the affective evaluation of such imageries revealed several interesting findings. Strong association of energy sources with particular imageries and imagery-specific affects observed before Fukushima were found to remain persistent in the aftermath of the Japanese nuclear disaster. Study results suggest that affect-loaded energy imageries are deeply anchored and relatively resilient to change in the face of energy catastrophes. Implications for future researchers, policy and managerial decision-makers are discussed.
Keywords: energy imageries, imagery-specific affect, Fukushima, energy perception, resilience, word associations