How Framing Climate Change Influences Citizen Scientists’ Intentions to Do Something About It

Research
TitleHow Framing Climate Change Influences Citizen Scientists’ Intentions to Do Something About It
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDickinson, JL, Crain, R, Yalowitz, S, Cherry, TMessick
JournalThe Journal of Environmental Education
Volume44
Issue3
Pagination145 - 158
Date Published2013/01/01/
ISBN Number0095-8964
Keywordsclimate change education, climate change psychology, collective action, communicating climate change, dire messages, fear appeals, framing climate change, group efficacy, terror management theory
AbstractHow we communicate the dangers of climate change may influence attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. Here we test two pairs of positive and negative framing statements with North American citizen scientists interested in gardening and birdwatching. Mentioning dangers for humans did not increase participants’ interest in taking personal action on climate change, but mentioning dangers for birds was highly effective. Highlighting the positive collective impacts of small behavioral changes also increased participants’ interest in taking personal action. These results suggest that while some dire messages are ineffective, those evoking concern for target species of significance to the learners may be as successful as positive messages.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2012.742032