University of Tasmania

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The nuclear arms race : Australian perceptions

posted on 2023-05-26, 17:34 authored by Newman, Margaret
Using four options regarding nuclear arming and disarming, the perceived nuclear arming preferences of American and Soviet leaders were obtained from survey data of Australian groups (Federal Parliamentarians, members of the Chamber of Commerce, Peace groups and Army personnel). The results show a small but consistent trend, for a perceived American preference for unilateral nuclear armament and, depending on political subgroup, a perceived Soviet preference either for unilateral nuclear armament or for mutual nuclear disarmament. By contrast, the subgroups differ on whether the United States is seen as a peace-loving nation but most saw the Soviet Union as an aggressive nation. The chance of a nuclear war occurring during the next decade was estimated to be from four percent (Liberal Parliamentarian group) to 42 percent (Peace group). All groups expressed a strong personal preference that mutual nuclear disarmament is the most desirable option for Australia. The majority of the data for the perceived preferences of the American and Soviet leaders is subsumed under seven 2x2 games. Of these games, the Prisoner's Dilemma is most representative of the respondents' perceptions. The implications associated with this, and the other frequently occurring games, are discussed along with reference to the model of a perceptual dilemma.


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Copyright 1987 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Psych)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Bibliography: leaves 125-130

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