Anthony Leiserowitz

Anthony Leiserowitz
Yale University | YU

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270
Publications
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Publications

Publications (270)
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Supplemental materials for "Measuring Americans' Support for Adapting to 'Climate Change' or 'Extreme Weather'"
Article
Extreme heat events are one of the deadliest weather-related hazards in the United States and are increasing in frequency and severity due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Further, some subpopulations may be more vulnerable than others due to social, economic, and political factors that create disparities in hazard impacts and responses....
Article
Climate communicators can use the terms ‘climate change’ or ‘extreme weather’ to describe climate change adaptation strategies. However, the terms might differentially affect individuals’ support for those strategies. We examined Americans’ (N = 1,558) endorsement of climate change adaptation behaviors and policies based on whether they were descri...
Article
Romantic partners influence each other's beliefs and behaviors. However, little is known about the dynamics of climate change beliefs and behaviors within romantic couples. We surveyed 758 romantic couples (N = 1,516 individuals) to investigate (a) correspondence between partners' climate change beliefs/behaviors, (b) accuracy and bias in people's...
Preprint
Both lifestyle changes and structural changes are needed to substantially reduce carbon emissions and limit the impacts of climate change. In a series of three studies, we examine whether undertaking behaviors at the personal or lifestyle level affects (i.e., spills over onto) people's willingness to engage in behaviors at the collective or structu...
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Adoption of plant-based diets is one of the most impactful ways individuals can reduce carbon emissions, helping to mitigate climate change. People attach different degrees of importance to the attributes of their food, such as taste, environmental impact, and health considerations. Identifying key motivators and barriers to adopting plant-based di...
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This research letter investigates the role of feelings of responsibility to reduce climate change (i.e., “felt responsibility”) as an antecedent to climate change related political behaviors and intentions, including willingness to join a campaign, likelihood of supporting pro-climate presidential candidates, and past contact with elected officials...
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Strategic communication requires the identification and understanding of target audiences for tailored communication. The Global Warming’s Six Americas analysis segments the U.S. public into six distinct, but internally consistent audiences, who each respond differently to the issue of climate change. The segments include the Alarmed, Concerned, Ca...
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Chinn and Hart (2021) argue that their experiment on the effects of communicating the scientific consensus on climate change revealed “mixed” and “inconsistent findings”. We note that Chinn and Hart (2021) provide clear and consistent evidence that the scientific consensus message has positive indirect effects on climate beliefs, attitudes, and sup...
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Full-text available
Climate communicators can use the terms climate change or extreme weather to describe climate change adaptation strategies. However, the terms might differentially affect individuals’ support for those strategies. We examined Americans’ (N = 1,558) endorsement of climate change adaptation behaviors and policies based on whether they were described...
Article
National polls reveal stark and growing political divisions on the issue of climate change within the United States. However, few studies have explored whether these trends generalize to communities of color, who experience disproportionate environmental risks. Synthesizing over a decade of nationally representative survey data (2008–2019; N = 23,7...
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Chinn and Hart (2021) conclude that communicating the scientific consensus on climate change causes psychological reactance. Here we identify several issues that cast doubt on these findings. First and foremost, the authors replicate the finding from van der Linden, Maibach, et al. (2019) that consensus messages do not increase perceptions of manip...
Article
In many countries, natural gas is perceived more favorably than other fossil fuels. Here, we experimentally test (N = 2931) how perceptions of natural gas vary depending on what it is called. We find that Americans have stronger positive feelings for the term “natural gas” than “natural methane gas” (d = 0.59), “fossil gas” (d = 0.80), “fracked gas...
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Full-text available
Romantic partners influence one another’s beliefs and behaviors. However, little is known about the dynamics of climate change beliefs and behaviors within romantic couples. We surveyed 758 romantic couples (N = 1,516 individuals) to investigate (a) correspondence between partners’ climate change beliefs and behaviors, (b) accuracy of people’s perc...
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Full-text available
It is essential to increase public understanding of the existence, causes and harms of climate change. In the United States, Republicans are one important audience, as the bipartisan support needed for ambitious and durable climate policy is currently lacking. An important limitation of most climate change message testing is that it is usually base...
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This session will help attendees to understand the latest survey data on public support for mitigation action, and discuss the usefulness of polls for driving climate action.
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Public perceptions of climate change in the United States are deeply rooted in cultural values and political identities. Yet, as the public experiences extreme weather and other climate change-related impacts, their perceptions of the issue may shift. Here, we explore whether, when, and where local climate trends have already influenced perceived e...
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Limiting climate change requires effective policy solutions. In democratic societies, voting for candidates who support climate policy solutions is arguably the most important action citizens can take. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of global warming as a voting issue is crucial for building public and political will for climate solutions. U...
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Despite Greta Thunberg's popularity, research has yet to investigate her impact on the public's willingness to take collective action on climate change. Using cross‐sectional data from a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults (N = 1,303), we investigate the “Greta Thunberg Effect,” or whether exposure to Greta Thunberg predicts collective...
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This report is an analysis of public opinion about climate change among the regular U.S. audience (American adults who frequently watch, read, or listen to the content) of each of six major U.S. news sources: CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, the Weather Channel, and the national nightly network news (on CBS, ABC, or NBC). The findings in this report are...
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Global warming will disproportionately affect people of color (e.g., Latinos). Previous research has found that Latinos in the USA are more engaged with global warming than are non-Latino Whites, in part, because they are more likely to perceive it as a serious risk. It was unclear, however, what factors most strongly explain Latinos’ elevated perc...
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Literary works of fiction about climate change are becoming more common and more popular among critics and readers. While much research has indicated the persuasive effectiveness of narrative storytelling in general, empirical research has not yet tested the effects of reading climate fiction. This paper reports results from the first experimental...
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Reducing global warming will require enacting strong climate policies, which is unlikely to happen without public support. While prior research has identified varied predictors of climate change policy support, it is unclear which predictors are strongest for the American electorate as a whole, and which predictors are strongest for Democrats and R...
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Sharing personal stories of how climate change is already harming people is a promising communication strategy to engage diverse and even skeptical audiences. Using two experiments, we test the effects of a radio story on the climate change beliefs and risk perceptions of political moderates and conservatives. The radio story, which aired on hundre...
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Few studies have focused on global warming risk perceptions among people in poor and developing countries, who are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This analysis conducts a comprehensive assessment of global warming risk perceptions in India using a national sample survey. Consistent with cultural theory, egalitarianism was positively...
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Drawing on a nationally representative survey (N = 1,029; including 911 registered voters), this report describes how Democratic, Independent, and Republican registered voters view global warming, climate and energy policies, and personal and collective action. This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Chang...
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This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org). Interview dates: April 7 – 17, 2020....
Article
People often misperceive other people's beliefs about global warming—for instance, underestimating the percentage of people who think global warming is happening. In the U.S., perceptions of others vary across political lines and interact with the extent to which partisans align or deviate from the views of their political ingroup. With an online s...
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Americans strongly support policies aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy. Prior research has found that, overall, support for renewable energy tends to be motivated primarily by people's perceptions that it creates economic benefits and reduces environmental harms. However, the extant research has not established how these motivations va...
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On April 3 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that all Americans wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The announcement came during the fielding of a large, nationally-representative survey (N = 3,933) of Americans' COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, providing an opportunity t...
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In this working paper, we used a large national survey of American adults (N = 3,933) to estimate the effect of perceived social norms among friends and family (i.e., how often friends and family perform preventive behaviors, and whether they think it is important for the respondent to do so) on people’s own COVID-19 preventive behaviors. We found...
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Drawing on a scientific national survey (N = 3,933; including 3,188 registered voters), this report describes Americans’ risk perceptions and emotional responses to COVID-19 to inform the public health community, policymakers, and the public.
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Full-text available
On April 3 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that all Americans wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The announcement came during the fielding of a large, nationally-representative survey (N = 3,933) of Americans’ COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, providing an opportunity t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Drawing on a scientific national survey (N = 3,933; including 3,188 registered voters), this report describes Americans’ coronavirus knowledge, attitudes, vulnerabilities, protective behaviors, and communication needs in an effort to inform the public health community, policymakers, and the public.
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This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org). Interview dates: November 8 – 20, 201...
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This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org). Interview dates: November 8 – 20, 201...
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Do campaign contributions from oil and gas companies influence legislators to vote against the environment, or do these companies invest in legislators that have a proven anti environmental voting record? Using 28 y of campaign contribution data, we find that evidence consistently supports the investment hypothesis: The more a given member of Congr...
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Previous research documents that U.S. conservatives, and conservative white males in particular, tend to dismiss the threat of climate change more than others in the U.S. public. Other research indicates that higher education and income can each exacerbate the dismissive tendencies of the political Right. Bridging these lines of research, the prese...
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This paper is a pre-print and is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published. Please do not copy or cite this document without permission. The published article is available at 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.102024
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In early 2019, a US climate change and economic renewal policy proposal called the Green New Deal (GND)¹ rose from obscurity to national prominence in just four months. This situation created a natural field experiment in which to study the emergence of partisan polarization. Here, we report findings from two nationally representative surveys of re...
Article
As hurricanes intensify and more people are at risk, there is a clear need to understand the evacuation behavior of coastal residents. Of particular relevance is the role of past experience in evacuation decisions, about which evidence is mixed. In the current study, we use the Meta-Cognitive Model (MCM) to show that expectations of future hurrican...
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Increasingly, researchers studying public beliefs about global warming have turned to the question of whether individuals have begun to perceive changes to their local climate conditions and to what extent they attribute these changes to the phenomenon of global warming. Perceptions of particular types of extreme events, i.e. extreme heat and droug...
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Research on the gateway belief model indicates that communicating the scientific consensus on global warming acts as a "gateway" to other beliefs and support for action. We test whether a video conveying the scientific consensus on global warming is more effective than a text transcript with the same information. Results show that the video was sig...
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Ideally, research in the social and behavioral sciences would be conducted using samples that perfectly represent the population of interest. However, it is often not feasible for researchers to collect representative samples, forcing them to rely on convenience samples. While some researchers have found that convenience samples can produce compara...
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This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org). Interview dates: March 29-April 8, 20...
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Climate change is an urgent global issue, with demands for personal , collective, and governmental action. Although a large body of research has investigated the influence of communication on public engagement with climate change, few studies have investigated the role of interpersonal discussion. Here we use panel data with 2 time points to invest...
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Using two nationally representative surveys (total N = 2,544) and two experiments (total N = 1,620), we investigate a social identity approach to engaging Christians in the issue of climate change. Results show Christian Americans say “protecting God’s creation” is a top reason for wanting to reduce global warming. An exploratory experiment and a p...
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It is well established that conservatives in the United States are substantially less likely than liberals to accept that climate change is happening and is human caused and are less supportive of policies to limit climate change. However, it is likely that ideological differences in climate change beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences are sma...
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In a recent article, Ma, Dixon, and Hmielowski (2019. Psychological Reactance from Reading Basic Facts on Climate Change: The Role of Prior Views and Political Identification. Environmental Communication, 13(1), 71-86) explore whether scientific consensus messages activate psychological reactance. They find no main effect of the consensus message o...
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The severe threats posed by anthropogenic climate change make hope and a sense of efficacy key ingredients in effective climate communication. Yet little is known about what makes individuals hopeful–or in contrast, doubtful–that humanity can reduce the problem, or how hope relates to activism. This study uses mixed-methods with two national survey...
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Prior research has found that systems thinking, the tendency to perceive phenomena as interconnected and dynamic, is associated with a general proenvironmental orientation. However, less is known about its relationship with public understanding of climate change and/or whether this relationship varies across people with different political views. B...
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This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org). Interview dates: March 29-April 8, 20...
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Extreme heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States. Many individuals, however, fail to perceive this risk, which will be exacerbated by global warming. Given that awareness of one’s physical and social vulnerability is a critical precursor to preparedness for extreme weather events, understanding Americans’ perceptions...
Preprint
Full-text available
It is well established that conservatives in the U.S. are substantially less likely than liberals to accept that climate change is happening and human-caused and are less supportive of policies to limit climate change. However, it is likely that ideological differences in climate change beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences are smaller when pe...
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The risks associated with extreme heat are increasing as heat waves become more frequent and severe across larger areas. As people begin to experience heat waves more often and in more places, how will individuals respond? Measuring experience with heat simply as exposure to extreme temperatures may not fully capture how people subjectively experie...
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The Gateway Belief Model describes a process of attitudinal change where a shift in people's perception of the scientific consensus on an issue leads to subsequent changes in their attitudes which in turn predict changes in support for public action. In the current study, we present the first large-scale confirmatory replication of the GBM. Specifi...
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Recent scholarship finds that communicating descriptive norms, such as the fact that 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human‐caused climate change is happening, is an effective gateway to changing individuals’ beliefs and attitudes about climate change and support for climate policies. Other scholars, however, have offered an alternativ...
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Research indicates that Latinos have particularly strong pro-environmental attitudes and support for policies to reduce climate change. This study explores differences in climate change activism (i.e., contacting government officials) between Latino and non-Latino White citizens in the United States, and the individual and social factors that predi...
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Researchers in different social science disciplines have successfully used Facebook to recruit subjects for their studies. However, such convenience samples are not generally representative of the population. We developed and validated a new quota sampling method to recruit respondents using Facebook advertisements. Additionally, we published an R...
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Notable spatial variation in public opinion on climate change and energy policy has been demonstrated at various geographic scales (Howe et al., 2015). Understanding the source of this variation is useful for policymakers, energy developers, and utility providers in predicting how different locales may respond to newly proposed policies and energy...
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Audience segmentation has long been used in marketing, public health, and communication, and is now becoming an important tool in the environmental domain as well. Global Warming's Six Americas is a well-established segmentation of Americans based on their climate change beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The original Six Americas model requires a...
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Vulnerability and resilience to extreme weather hazards are a function of diverse physical, social, and psychological factors. Previous research has focused on individual factors that influence public perceptions of hazards, such as politics, ideology, and cultural worldviews, as well as on socioeconomic and demographic factors that affect geograph...