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We refer to these individuals as pessimists in our

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Unformatted text preview: d) by the government are not adequate or will not be carried out successfully by government agents. We refer to these individuals as pessimists. In our experimental work, we have identified baseline confidence levels in a population of U.S. citizens (for details of the experiments carried out, see Baldwin et al., 2006) in the government’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States in the future. We ask the subjects to tell us their confidence in the government’s ability to prevent attacks one day, one week, one month, three months, one year, 15 five years, and ten years into the future. A group of subjects has revealed a clear downward tendency in their confidence as the time horizon of interest grows (see Figure 8). As part of our experimental work, we interview the subjects after the data elicitation process to explore the reasons behind their assessments. In general, members of the pessimist group express their expectation that the government will not be able to successfully carry out the necessary actions to prevent the attacks. In addition, they express their doubts about whether the government will actually even be interested in preventing these attacks at all. These responses guide our thinking that individuals in this category have low levels of trust in government paired with low levels of confidence in government. Average Baseline Confidence Levels 9 Confidence Level (1-None, 9-Full) 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 Day 1 Week 1 Month 3 Months 1 Year 5 Years 10 Years Time Horizon Pessimists Skeptics Optimists Figure 8 Tendencies of Level of Confidence in the Government’s Ability to Prevent Terrorist Attacks in the United States Found in a Sample of U.S. Citizens Alternatively, high levels of trust and high levels of confidence produce a high trustworthiness situation. In this case, individuals will be more likely to have compliant responses when the government generates actions that require citizen participation to create the desired outcomes. We refer to these individuals as optimists. In our experimental work, optimists show a clea...
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