Communicating climate change: science, risk,          attitudes & behaviourAdam CornerSchool of Psychology, Cardiff Univer...
What is climate changecommunication?1. Clearer presentation of the science/impacts of  climate change?>>>scientists, fact-...
Knowledge about climate change• General scientific literacy? Not really (Kahan et  al, 2012)• Knowledge about climate scie...
What predicts views about climatechange?• Demographics – gender, race & age (McCright &  Dunlap, 2011)• Political ideology...
Specific challenges forcommunicating climate science• Uncertainty equated with ignorance – re-frame  as ‘risk’? (Pidgeon &...
What influences sustainablebehaviour?• Not simply attitudes>>behaviour BUT don’t  discount them altogether• Huge amount of...
Values for sustainable behaviour                  Schwartz (1992)
Social norms
Fear and guilt• Messages based on fear/threats are only  effective if the threat is personal, direct and can  be mitigated...
Communicating CC impacts onhealth• US research: Public health frame of CC produces  stronger emotional reaction, possibly ...
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Corner communicating climate change

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Corner communicating climate change

  1. 1. Communicating climate change: science, risk, attitudes & behaviourAdam CornerSchool of Psychology, Cardiff UniversityClimate Outreach Information Network (COIN)
  2. 2. What is climate changecommunication?1. Clearer presentation of the science/impacts of climate change?>>>scientists, fact-based engagement2. Public engagement (attitudes, behaviours) with climate change as a societal risk?>>>social scientists, value-based engagement
  3. 3. Knowledge about climate change• General scientific literacy? Not really (Kahan et al, 2012)• Knowledge about climate science specifically? To some extent (Tobler et al, 2012)• But perceptions of climate change are not primarily driven by knowledge about the subject
  4. 4. What predicts views about climatechange?• Demographics – gender, race & age (McCright & Dunlap, 2011)• Political ideology – (Lewandowsky, 2012)• People filter the facts through their own prior beliefs (Corner et al, 2011)• The weather…the recession… ‘elite’cues from politicians etc
  5. 5. Specific challenges forcommunicating climate science• Uncertainty equated with ignorance – re-frame as ‘risk’? (Pidgeon & Fischoff, 2011)• ‘Psychological distance’ between the risk and the individual (Spence et al, 2011)• Extreme weather events – a paradox for communication about climate change
  6. 6. What influences sustainablebehaviour?• Not simply attitudes>>behaviour BUT don’t discount them altogether• Huge amount of behaviour (and cognition) is habitual• Single behaviours (and individuals) do not exist in a vacuum (Corner & Randall, 2011)
  7. 7. Values for sustainable behaviour Schwartz (1992)
  8. 8. Social norms
  9. 9. Fear and guilt• Messages based on fear/threats are only effective if the threat is personal, direct and can be mitigated…• Smoking >> lung cancer = yes• Climate change >> sustainable behaviour = no(Hoog, Stroebe & de Wit, 2005)
  10. 10. Communicating CC impacts onhealth• US research: Public health frame of CC produces stronger emotional reaction, possibly better for Republicans (pollution/poor health)• Disentangling CC >> health relationship analogous to weather >> climate?• Values for sustainability = values forhealth?

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