I will be presenting my Science Communications/Public Opinion research project next Thursday, 10am in the Curet Room of Hodges Hall, LSU Campus! If you are in Louisiana, come by!
By Paige Brown
Despite scientific consensus that recent rises in global temperature are attributable to human activity, previous research points to doubt, confusion and complacency among the public on the reality, causes and severity of impacts of global climate change. Whether environmental scientists and activists could better frame their messages to improve public appreciation of climate change risks is a subject of active research. This study sought to investigate a new question in science communications: Do messages on local climate change impacts and action framed in personal and societal ‘values’ vs. framed in rigid scientific ‘facts’ impact attitudes differentially among audiences of varying scientific knowledge and initial concern about climate change? Results from an experimental, randomized Internet survey of LSU undergraduate students reveal an overall superior performance of ‘value’ over ‘fact’ framing and the role of baseline concern and general scientific knowledge in moderating and even reversing the direction of these framing effects.