Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Douglas Smith (Director), Dr. Gene L. Theodori, Dr. Stephen B. Groce

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Reliance on foreign oil is a major problem facing the United States due to uncontrollable prices, dealing with hostile nations, and oil wars. Demographic variables, risk perception, community attachment, environmental knowledge, and environmental attitudes of Texans were examined to determine which factors influence attitudes toward the hard- and soft-energy path for ending the U.S. Reliance on foreign oil. The data for this study were collected through a mailed questionnaire which included 1,228 Texans in 12 counties over three ecological regions. The dependent measures, hard-energy path and soft-energy path, were regressed on the independent and control variables to determine which factors influenced energy-path preference. The results of the data analysis of Texans clearly demonstrated that environmental attitudes, and in the end, knowledge of energy solutions are the most powerful predictors of risk perception.


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Place and Environment | Sociology