Authors: Matthew Feinberg (Psychology Department, University of California), Robb Willer (Sociology Department, University of California)
“Though scientific evidence for the existence of global warming continues to mount, in the U.S. and other countries belief in global warming has stagnated or even decreased in recent years. One possible explanation for this pattern is that information about the potentially dire consequences of global warming threatens deeply held beliefs that the world is just, orderly, and stable. Individuals overcome this threat by denying or discounting the existence of global warming, ultimately resulting in decreased willingness to counteract climate change.
Two experiments provide support for this explanation of the dynamics of belief in global warming, suggesting that less dire messaging could be more effective for promoting public understanding of climate change research.”
Download Report Feinberg & Willer, 2011