Integrative Complexity of Public Beliefs Toward Wildfire Management: Development of a Scale


Joshua Carroll, 195 Hewitt Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824. E-mail:


Integrative complexity is a useful tool for examining the complex way people think about dichotomous, highly charged issues. However, the qualitative nature of this research is lengthy and requires much work from respondents and investigators alike. This paper presents the process by which a combination open-ended and fixed-item scale was developed to measure the complexity of thought that is consistent with integrative complexity. We used the controversial issue of wildfire management in developing the scale because it has become a pervasive natural resource concern that has divided the public's perceptions regarding its management. The resulting scale is designed for use in large surveys across any number of natural resource issues.