The Impact of Climate Change–Related Imagery and Text on Public Opinion and Behavior Change

P. Sol Hart, Lauren Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This experimental study investigates how imagery and text in news coverage of climate change affect perceptions of issue importance, efficacy, and intentions to conserve energy and engage in climate change-related political behavior. The results reveal that images of solar panels and texts that discuss actions to address climate change increase individuals’ perceptions of efficacy. Perceived efficacy and issue importance each have a positive association with behavior change. In contrast to previous studies, the present investigation finds no evidence that exposure to images of either climate impacts or climate pollution negatively influence perceived efficacy or positively influence perceived issue importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-441
Number of pages27
JournalScience Communication
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • behavior change
  • climate change
  • efficacy
  • environmental communication
  • issue importance
  • visual communication

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