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Presentation Master's Thesis - Christy Braam - Social Psychology

Last modified on 02-11-2022
Bringing Climate Science Closer: Reducing Psychological Distance to Climate Science to Decrease Climate Change Skepticism
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Start date
04-11-2022 11:00
End date
04-11-2022 12:00
Location

Roeterseilandcampus -Building G

Street: 

Roetersstraat 11 

Room: 

S.04

Climate change skepticism is an obstacle to engaging in climate mitigation efforts. Previous attempts to tackle such skepticism focused on tailoring science communication to conservative values and knowledge deficits. These have shown mixed results, presented communication challenges, and lacked psychological theory. We tested a theory-informed method of tackling climate change skepticism in climate change skeptic individuals: reducing psychological distance to science (PSYDISC). We presented participants (N = 321) with short articles where information about climate science (fingerprinting) was framed as either psychologically close or distant along four distance dimensions. We also examined whether concrete mental construals of climate science explain this effect. We found that distance to science did not affect skepticism and that this relationship was not mediated by mental construals. However, perceived distance to fingerprinting and construals were positively associated to skepticism. Overall, we show that psychological distance is not an important factor in explaining climate change skepticism.