Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Selective perceptions of hydraulic fracturing: The role of issue support in the evaluation of visual frames

  • Melanie A. Sarge (a1), Matthew S. VanDyke (a2), Andy J. King (a3) and Shawna R. White (a4)
Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) is a focal topic in discussions about domestic energy production, yet the American public is largely unfamiliar and undecided about the practice. This study sheds light on how individuals may come to understand hydraulic fracturing as this unconventional production technology becomes more prominent in the United States. For the study, a thorough search of HF photographs was performed, and a systematic evaluation of 40 images using an online experimental design involving $N=250$ participants was conducted. Key indicators of hydraulic fracturing support and beliefs were identified. Participants showed diversity in their support for the practice, with 47 percent expressing low support, 22 percent high support, and 31 percent undecided. Support for HF was positively associated with beliefs that hydraulic fracturing is primarily an economic issue and negatively associated with beliefs that it is an environmental issue. Level of support was also investigated as a perceptual filter that facilitates biased issue perceptions and affective evaluations of economic benefit and environmental cost frames presented in visual content of hydraulic fracturing. Results suggested an interactive relationship between visual framing and level of support, pointing to a substantial barrier to common understanding about the issue that strategic communicators should consider.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Selective perceptions of hydraulic fracturing
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Selective perceptions of hydraulic fracturing
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Selective perceptions of hydraulic fracturing
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Melanie A. Sarge, College of Media and Communication, Texas Tech University, 3003 15th Street, Lubbock, TX 79409-3082. Email: m.sarge@ttu.edu
References
Hide All
1United States Environmental Protection Agency, The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing, http://www2.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing/process-hydraulic-fracturing.
2Boudet, Hilary, Clarke, Christopher, Budgen, Dylan, Maibach, Edward, Roser-Renouf, Connie, and Leiserowitz, Anthony, “Fracking controversy and communication: Using national survey data to understand public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing,” Energy Policy, 2014, 65: 5767.
3Boudet et al.
4Jacquet, Jeffrey B., “Landowner attitudes toward natural gas and wind farm development in northern Pennsylvania,” Energy Policy, 2012, 50: 677688.
5Kriesky, Jill, Goldstein, Bernard D., Zell, Katrina, and Beach, Scott, “Differing opinions about natural gas drilling in two adjacent counties with different levels of drilling activity,” Energy Policy, 2013, 58: 228236.
6Boudet et al.
7Brown, Erica, Hartman, Kristine, Borick, Christopher P., Rabe, Barry G., and Ivacko, Thomas M., Public Opinion on Fracking: Perspectives from Michigan and Pennsylvania (Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, 2013).
8Davis, Charles and Fisk, Jonathan M., “Energy abundance or environmental worries? Analyzing public support for fracking in the United States,” Review of Policy Research, 2014, 31(1): 116.
9Ho, Shirley S., Scheufele, Dietram A., and Corley, Elizabeth A., “Factors influencing public risk-benefit considerations of nanotechnology: Assessing the effects of mass media, interpersonal communication, and elaborative processing,” Public Understanding of Science, 2011, 22(5): 606623.
10Leiserowitz, Anthony, “Climate change risk perception and policy preferences: The role of affect, imagery, and values,” Climatic Change, 2006, 77: 4572.
11Entman, Robert M., “Framing: Toward clarification of a fractured paradigm,” Journal of Communication, 1993, 43(4): 5158.
12Nisbet, Matthew C., “Communicating climate change: Why frames matter for public engagement,” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 2009, 51(2): 1223.
13Nisbet, Matthew C. and Scheufele, Dietram A., “What’s next for science communication? Promising directions and lingering distractions,” American Journal of Botany, 2009, 96(10): 17671778.
14Nisbet.
15Sol Hart, P. and Nisbet, Erik C., “Boomerang effects in science communication: How motivated reasoning and identity cues amplify opinion polarization about climate mitigation policies,” Communication Research, 2012, 39(6): 701723.
16Mann, Traci, Sherman, David, and Updegraff, John, “Dispositional motivations and message framing: A test of the congruency hypothesis in college students,” Health Psychology, 2004, 23(3): 330334.
17U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2014 with Projections to 2040, No. DOE/EIA-0383 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Energy, 2014).
18United States Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Gas Extraction–Hydraulic Fracturing, http://www2.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing.
19Boudet et al.
20Boudet et al.
21Jacquet, Jeffrey B., “Review of risks to communities from shale energy development,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2014, 48(15): 83218333.
22Wynveen, Brooklynn J., “A thematic analysis of local respondents’ perceptions of Barnett Shale energy development,” Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 2011, 26(1): 831.
23Theodori, Gene L., “Paradoxical perceptions of problems associated with unconventional natural gas development,” Southern Rural Sociology, 2009, 24(3): 97117.
24Theodori, Gene L., “Public perception of the natural gas industry: Data from the Barnett Shale,” Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 2012, 7(3): 275281.
25Willits, Fern K., Luloff, A. E., and Theodori, Gene L., “Changes in residents’ views of natural gas drilling in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale, 2009–2012,” Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 2013, 28(3): 6075.
26Boudet et al.
27Davis and Fisk.
28Boudet et al.
29Ladd, Anthony E., “Stakeholder perceptions of socioenvironmental impacts from unconventional natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing in the Haynesville Shale,” Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 2013, 28(2): 5689.
30Kim Wolske, Andrew Hoffman, and Lukas Strickland, Hydraulic Fracturing in the State of Michigan: Public Perceptions of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing & Deep Shale Gas Development (Ann Arbor, MI: Graham Sustainability Institute Integrated Assessment Report Series, Vol. II, Report 8, 2013).
31Ladd.
32Small, Mitchell J., Stern, Paul C., and Bomberg, Elizabeth et al. , “Risks and risk governance in unconventional shale gas development,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2014, 48(15): 82898297.
33Wolske et al.
34Anderson, Brooklynn J. and Theodori, Gene L., “Local leaders’ perceptions of energy development in the Barnett Shale,” Southern Rural Sociology, 2009, 24(1): 113129.
35Evensen, Darrick T., Clarke, Christopher E., and Stedman, Richard C., “A New York or Pennsylvania state of mind: Social representations in newspaper coverage of gas development in the Marcellus Shale,” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2014, 4(1): 6577.
36Ladd.
37Hart, Philip S., “One or many? The influence of episodic and thematic climate change frames on policy preferences and individual behavior change,” Science Communication, 2011, 33(1): 2851.
38Nisbet.
39Tewksbury, David and Scheufele, Dietram A., “News framing theory and research,” in Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Bryant, Jennings and Oliver, Mary Beth, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2009), pp. 1733.
40Nisbet.
41Entman.
42Nisbet.
43Entman.
44Nisbet.
45Entman.
46Nisbet.
47Evensen et al.
48Grabe, Maria Elizabeth and Bucy, Erik Page, Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).
49Messaris, Paul and Abraham, Linus, “The role of images in framing news stories,” in Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World, Reese, Stephen D., Gandy, Oscar H. Jr., and Grant, August E., eds. (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001), pp. 215226.
50Prior, Markus, “Visual political knowledge: A different road to competence?Journal of Politics, 2014, 76(1): 4157.
51Grabe and Bucy.
52McCombs, Maxwell and Ghanem, Salma I., “The convergence of agenda setting and framing,” in Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World, Reese, Stephen D., Gandy, Oscar H. Jr., and Grant, August E., eds. (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001), pp. 6781.
53Borah, Porismita, “Comparing visual framing in newspapers: Hurricane Katrina versus tsunami,” Newspaper Research Journal, 2009, 30(1): 5057.
54de Vreese, Claes H., Peter, Jochen, and Semetko, Holli A., “Framing politics at the launch of the Euro: A cross-national comparative study of frames in the news,” Political Communication, 2001, 18(2): 107122.
55Schuck, Andreas R. T. and de Vreese, Claes H., “Between risk and opportunity: News framing and its effects on public support for EU enlargement,” European Journal of Communication, 2006, 21(1): 532.
56Kahneman, Daniel and Tversky, Amos, “Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk,” Econometrica, 1979, 47(2): 263292.
57Nan, Xiaoli, “Relative persuasiveness of gain- versus loss-framed human papillomavirus vaccination messages for the present- and future-minded,” Human Communication Research, 2012, 38(1): 7294.
58Newman, Christopher L., Howlett, Elizabeth, Burton, Scot, Kozup, John C., and Tangari, Andrea H., “The influence of consumer concern about global climate change on framing effects for environmental sustainability messages,” International Journal of Advertising, 2012, 31(3): 511527.
59Yu, Nan, Ahern, Lee A., Connolly-Ahern, Colleen, and Shen, Fuyuan, “Communicating the risks of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Effects of message framing and exemplification,” Health Communication, 2010, 25(8): 692699.
60Hornig, Susanna, “Reading risk: Public response to print media accounts of technological risk,” Public Understanding of Science, 1993, 2(2): 95109.
61Mercado, Maria-Teresa, Alvarez, Angels, and Herranz, Jose M., “The fracking debate in the media: The role of citizen platforms as sources of information,” Journal for Communication Studies, 2014, 7(1): 4562.
62Marks, Leonie A., Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas, Wilkins, Lee, and Zakharova, Ludmila, “Mass media framing of biotechnology news,” Public Understanding of Science, 2007, 16(2): 183203.
63Shen, Fuyuan, Ahern, Lee, and Baker, Michelle, “Stories that count: Influence of news narratives on issue attitudes,” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 2014, 91(1): 98117.
64Boudet et al.
65McCombs, Maxwell E. and Shaw, Donald L., “The agenda-setting function of mass media,” Public Opinion Quarterly, 1972, 36(2): 176187.
66Nisbet.
67McCombs and Ghanem.
68Leiserowitz, Anthony A., “American risk perceptions: Is climate change dangerous?,” Risk Analysis, 2005, 25(6): 14331442.
69Brantner, Cornelia, Lobinger, Katharina, and Wetzstein, Irmgard, “Effects of visual framing on emotional responses and evaluations of news stories about the Gaza conflict 2009,” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 2011, 88(3): 523540.
70Kim, Hyo J. and Cameron, Glen T., “Emotions matter in crisis: The role of anger and sadness in the publics’ response to crisis news framing and corporate crisis response,” Communication Research, 2011, 38(6): 826855.
71Kühne, Rinaldo and Schemer, Christian, “The emotional effects of news frames on information processing and opinion formation,” Communication Research, 2015, 4(3)2: 387–407.
72Keller, Carmen, Siegrist, Michael, and Gutscher, Heinz, “The role of the affect and availability heuristics in risk communication,” Risk Analysis, 2006, 26(3): 631639.
73Lee, Chul-Joo, Scheufele, Dietram A., and Lewenstein, Bruce V., “Public attitudes toward emerging technologies: Examining the interactive effects of cognitions and affect on public attitudes toward nanotechnology,” Science Communication, 2005, 27(2): 240267.
74Zillmann, Dolf, Gibson, Rhonda, and Sargent, Stephanie L., “Effects of photographs in news-magazine reports on issue perception,” Media Psychology, 1999, 1(3): 207228.
75Rothman, Alexander J., Martino, Steven C., Bedell, Brian T., Detweiler, Jerusha B., and Salovey, Peter, “The systematic influence of gain- and loss-framed messages on interest in and use of different types of health behavior,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1999, 25(11): 13551369.
76Shen, Lijiang and Dillard, James P., “The influence of behavioral inhibition/approach systems and message framing on the processing of persuasive health messages,” Communication Research, 2007, 34(4): 433467.
77Zillmann, Dolf, “Exemplification effects in the promotion of safety and health,” Journal of Communication, 2006, 56(S1): S221S237.
78Seo, Kiwon, Dillard, James P., and Shen, Fuyuan, “The effects of message framing and visual image on persuasion,” Communication Quarterly, 2013, 61(5): 564583.
79Zillmann, Gibson, and Sargent.
80Entman.
81Nisbet.
82Shen, Ahern, and Baker.
83Tewksbury and Scheufele.
84Messaris and Abraham.
85Roskos-Ewoldsen, David R., Roskos-Ewoldsen, Beverly, and Dillman Carpentier, Francesca R., “Media priming: A synthesis,” in Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Bryant, Jennings and Zillmann, Dolf, eds. (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002), pp. 97120.
86Entman.
87Scheufele, Dietram A., “Framing as a theory of media effects,” Journal of Communication, 1999, 49(1): 103122.
88Paul Slovic, Donald G. MacGregor, and Ellen Peters, “Imagery, affect, and decision making,” SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 1589800 (Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, 1998).
89Balcetis, Emily and Dunning, David, “See what you want to see: Motivational influences on visual perception,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2006, 91(4): 612625.
90Vidmar, Neil and Rokeach, Milton, “Archie Bunker’s bigotry: A study in selective perception and exposure,” Journal of Communication, 1974, 24(1): 3647.
91Aarøe, Lene, “Investigating frame strength: The case of episodic and thematic frames,” Political Communication, 2011, 28(2): 207226.
92Borah, Porismita, “Seeking more information and conversations: Influence of competitive frames and motivated processing,” Communication Research, 2011, 38(3): 303325.
93Nan.
94Newman et al.
95Shen and Dillard.
96Shen, Lijiang and Dillard, James P., “Message frames interact with motivational systems to determine depth of message processing,” Health Communication, 2009, 24(6): 504514.
97Berinsky, Adam J., Huber, Gregory A., and Lenz, Gabriel S., “Evaluating online labor markets for experimental research: Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk,” Political Analysis, 2012, 20(3): 351368.
98Boudet et al.
99Nisbet, Matthew C., “Knowledge into action: Framing the debates over climate change and poverty,” in Doing News Framing Analysis: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives, D’Angelo, Paul and Kuypers, Jim A., eds. (New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 4383.
100Hart and Nisbet.
101Anderson and Theodori.
102Boudet et al.
103Davis and Fisk.
104Atkin, Charles K., “Informational utility and selective exposure to entertainment media,” in Selective Exposure to Communication, Zillmann, Dolf and Bryant, Jennings, eds. (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1985), pp. 6391.
105Festinger, Leon, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Evanston, Il: Row and Peterson, 1957).
106Knobloch-Westerwick, Silvia and Meng, Jingbo, “Looking the other way: Selective exposure to attitude-consistent and counterattitudinal political information,” Communication Research, 2009, 36(3): 426448.
107Stroud, Natalie J., “Polarization and partisan selective exposure,” Journal of Communication, 2010, 60(3): 556576.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics and the Life Sciences
  • ISSN: 0730-9384
  • EISSN: 1471-5457
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-the-life-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed