Teaching the Choir to Sing: Encouraging
discourse about climate change
Janet Swim
Pennsylvania State University
Done in co...
Richard Alley: Even Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State
It’s RealIt’s Real
It’s Real
It’s
Real!
Conversations are Important
Why isn’t the public talking about it?
• Literal denial?
– No, most believe in climate change and have for
over a decade
•...
Climate change is not perceived as the most
important problem.
1/2
Psychological explanations
l Uncertainty and unsophisticated knowledge about climate change
l Status quo bias
l Lack of pe...
Social factors
Conversational Norms
Few social spaces where climate change is considered relevant or appropriate
Spiral of silence:
Underestimate public concern
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Own belief
Meta-perceptions
Swim, Fraser, & Rank (20...
Our Research on Spiral of silence
Public
unconcerned
Hope about
ability to
discuss
Willingness
to talk
(Geiger & Swim, 201...
Breaking silence
at Informal Science learning centers
ISLs Ideal location to talk about climate
change
Yet educators are not fully talking
Never Occasionally Somewhat often Very Often Always
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Percent ...
Professional norms
Two possible pictures
Self-presentation concerns
Looking stupid Afraid of hostility Afraid of disinterest
Teaching Choir to Sing
• Teach interpreters how to frame messages resulting in
– Increase knowledge of strategic framing
– Increase communication...
Study circles
building to a
community of
Practice
Work
Dyad 1
Work
Dyad 2
Work
Dyad 3
Work
Dyad 4
Bi-Annual training of in...
• Focus on shared values & strengths at local
level
q
Responsible management, Innovation, Future
legacy
• Use organizing p...
Larger Choir
Russian Choir of 4,335 in Saint Petersburg
Visitors/
Guests
Community of
Practice
Work
Dyad 1
Work
Dyad 2
Work
Dyad 3
Work
Dyad 4
Social Radiation
Trainees
Visitors/
Guests
Community of
Practice
Work
Dyad 1
Work
Dyad 2
Work
Dyad 3
Work
Dyad 4
Social Radiation
Friends
Conservation
Colleagues
Trainees
Visitors/
Guests
Community of
Practice
Work
Dyad 1
Work
Dyad 2
Work
Dyad 3
Work
D...
Friends
Conservation
Colleagues
Trainees
Visitors/
Guests
Community of
Practice
Community at
Large
Work
Dyad 1
Work
Dyad 2...
Phase 1: Effects of training
Certain Knowledge Personal hope
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
Peer means
Recalled pre-training
em...
Friends Peers
1
11
21
31
41
51
61
71
81
91
Correlations
Certainty knowledge r = .001 r = .52**
Post-training Hope r = .16 ...
Ises 2013   day 3 - janet swim (professor of psychology, penn state) - the psychology of climate change
Ises 2013   day 3 - janet swim (professor of psychology, penn state) - the psychology of climate change
Ises 2013   day 3 - janet swim (professor of psychology, penn state) - the psychology of climate change
Ises 2013   day 3 - janet swim (professor of psychology, penn state) - the psychology of climate change
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Ises 2013 day 3 - janet swim (professor of psychology, penn state) - the psychology of climate change

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Can We Change Our Minds To Think More Sustainably?

Climate change challenges our world in many ways, yet we have barely started to address this problem. Why are we not doing more about this? Climate change is a psychological challenge, psychological barriers limit individual and collective action on climate change. Can we be nudged into acting differently?

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Ises 2013 day 3 - janet swim (professor of psychology, penn state) - the psychology of climate change

  1. 1. Teaching the Choir to Sing: Encouraging discourse about climate change Janet Swim Pennsylvania State University Done in collaboration with John Fraser New Knowledge Network Funded through NSF CCEP II John Anderson and William Spitzer PIs
  2. 2. Richard Alley: Even Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State It’s RealIt’s Real It’s Real It’s Real!
  3. 3. Conversations are Important
  4. 4. Why isn’t the public talking about it? • Literal denial? – No, most believe in climate change and have for over a decade • Denial of human responsibility? – No, most perceive humans or humans and nature cause climate change • Denial of importance? – No, most are at least cautious, if not concerned or alarmed
  5. 5. Climate change is not perceived as the most important problem. 1/2
  6. 6. Psychological explanations l Uncertainty and unsophisticated knowledge about climate change l Status quo bias l Lack of perceived self and personal self-efficacy l Avoidance of disturbing emotions
  7. 7. Social factors
  8. 8. Conversational Norms Few social spaces where climate change is considered relevant or appropriate
  9. 9. Spiral of silence: Underestimate public concern 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Own belief Meta-perceptions Swim, Fraser, & Rank (2013)
  10. 10. Our Research on Spiral of silence Public unconcerned Hope about ability to discuss Willingness to talk (Geiger & Swim, 2013) Told High vs. low concern among others Concerned Appear incompetent Willingness to talk
  11. 11. Breaking silence at Informal Science learning centers
  12. 12. ISLs Ideal location to talk about climate change
  13. 13. Yet educators are not fully talking Never Occasionally Somewhat often Very Often Always 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent frequency of saying all wanted to say about climate change Swim & Fraser, 2013
  14. 14. Professional norms Two possible pictures
  15. 15. Self-presentation concerns Looking stupid Afraid of hostility Afraid of disinterest
  16. 16. Teaching Choir to Sing
  17. 17. • Teach interpreters how to frame messages resulting in – Increase knowledge of strategic framing – Increase communications skills – Increase Hope (agency and a plan) • Provide continual support – Build a community of practice • Increase climate literacy among – Interpreters – Those connected to Interpreters – Aquarium Visitors Climate Change Communication Goals
  18. 18. Study circles building to a community of Practice Work Dyad 1 Work Dyad 2 Work Dyad 3 Work Dyad 4 Bi-Annual training of interpreters
  19. 19. • Focus on shared values & strengths at local level q Responsible management, Innovation, Future legacy • Use organizing principles q Interdependence of life • Metaphors that communicate core physical processes Strategic framework: Training by frameworksinstitute.org
  20. 20. Larger Choir Russian Choir of 4,335 in Saint Petersburg
  21. 21. Visitors/ Guests Community of Practice Work Dyad 1 Work Dyad 2 Work Dyad 3 Work Dyad 4 Social Radiation
  22. 22. Trainees Visitors/ Guests Community of Practice Work Dyad 1 Work Dyad 2 Work Dyad 3 Work Dyad 4 Social Radiation
  23. 23. Friends Conservation Colleagues Trainees Visitors/ Guests Community of Practice Work Dyad 1 Work Dyad 2 Work Dyad 3 Work Dyad 4 Social Radiation
  24. 24. Friends Conservation Colleagues Trainees Visitors/ Guests Community of Practice Community at Large Work Dyad 1 Work Dyad 2 Work Dyad 3 Work Dyad 4 Social Radiation
  25. 25. Phase 1: Effects of training Certain Knowledge Personal hope 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 Peer means Recalled pre-training emotions Post training emotions
  26. 26. Friends Peers 1 11 21 31 41 51 61 71 81 91 Correlations Certainty knowledge r = .001 r = .52** Post-training Hope r = .16 r = .62** t(28) = 3.96, p < .001 Post-training discussions
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