This is interpreted as evidence that this group has a

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Unformatted text preview: r upward trend in baseline confidence in government as the time horizon of interest grows (see Figure 8). This is interpreted as evidence that this group has a definitive belief that the government will be willing and able to put in place the necessary actions to prevent future terrorist attacks. If the relative mix of the general population in a country has a high percentage of optimists, as identified by means c in Figures 2 and 3, the likelihood of success in government action will grow and the possibility of experiencing the desired outcomes will increase. Interestingly, as our model allows us to infer, if desired outcomes are experienced, these outcomes will be perceived, 16 remembered, and expected, influencing higher levels of trust, confidence, and public’s assessment of government’s trustworthiness that will reinforce the compliance tendency of the population: a virtuous cycle of government-population participation. The last combination depicted in Table 1, the high-trust/low-confidence scenario, presents the possibility of generating mid-levels in the public’s opinion of the government’s trustworthiness, leading to mixed responses in behavior after a request/mandate from the government is issued in response to, or to prevent, a critical event. Mixed behavioral response from the public will most likely harm the outcomes experienced; however, if there is a critical mass of individuals who are thinking about alternative behaviors more suitable for the situation at hand, it could generate a creative thrust that might create benefits (Cook et al., 2005b). In general, mixed behavioral response is not desired. Governments seek to induce homogenous responses from the public that are aligned with their designed solutions for problems and critical situations. However, although the presence of skeptics in the general population makes it harder to implement government initiatives, it has been argued that it also forces the government to design truly adequate solutions and promot...
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