The University of Groningen is going to conduct independent research on the opinions of inhabitants of the province of Groningen regarding gas extraction from the Groningen gas field. The research, commissioned by NAM (the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij), will be directed by Prof. Linda Steg of the Department of Psychology of the University. The anonymized results of the research will be shared with NAM.
NAM has asked the University to conduct research to provide more insight into what those around NAM expect from gas extraction. The research will also reveal how the residents assess the benefits and risks of gas extraction.
The research will also serve a scholarly aim. It will examine what people consider important when they think about energy facilities such as gas extraction, and what role this plays in their judgement of these energy facilities. ‘It is important to understand how opinions about energy facilities are formed and which factors influence them. It shows how the interests and cares of people can best be addressed’, says Linda Steg.
The research will kick off on Monday 4 November and run for a year. University of Groningen staff will approach people resident in several municipalities at home and ask them if they are willing to participate in the research. Participation comprises filling in a questionnaire about their opinion on gas extraction and its consequences.
The University will ask participants to fill in a questionnaire at three different points in time so that opinions can be tracked over time and the reason why opinions change can be investigated. In return, participants will be given a voucher that they can exchange at a local bakery. Residents are completely free to refuse to participate or to withdraw at any time if they want.
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