Public attitudes and decision making in environmental resource planning — a perception gap

K. A. Alexander*, S. Freeman, D. L. Angel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has suggested that decision makers may misunderstand public attitudes regarding natural resource use. Using research on Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in six European countries, we illustrate one case in which this is true. We describe two studies: one revealing stakeholders’ beliefs about the environmental sustainability of IMTA in addition to their beliefs regarding public perceptions of the same; and a second investigating perceptions held by the public. In comparing the studies, we identified a gap between what decision-makers believe the public perceives and what the public actually perceives. There is reason to believe that this phenomenon is not sector-specific because policy and planning mechanisms for incorporating the views of stakeholders and the larger public tend to be the similar, regardless of sector. This may cause a dilemma for developing natural-resource based industries, as well as public policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Governance
  • Natural resources
  • Perception gap
  • Public attitudes
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Public attitudes and decision making in environmental resource planning — a perception gap'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this