Article

Climate visuals: A mixed methods investigation of public perceptions of climate images in three countries

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... No en vano, se percibe una tendencia hacia la comunicación del cambio climático centrada en sus posibles consecuencias. Organizaciones como Greenpeace han tendido a enfatizar este tipo de imágenes negativas en un activismo medioambiental más clásico (Hariman y Lucaites, 2007), en busca de una respuesta que guíe hacia cambios en las acciones individuales de la audiencia (Chapman et al. 2016). Sin embargo, diversos estudios señalan que las imágenes negativas generan emociones de rechazo (Leviston et al., 2014;O'Neill et al., 2013;Batta et al., 2013), siendo más favorable una comunicación del cambio climático desde las soluciones (IPCC, 2018). ...
... Este aspecto resulta positivo, teniendo en cuenta la dimensión global del fenómeno. Dentro de los principios para una comunicación visual efectiva del cambio climático, el proyecto Climate Visuals (Chapman et al., 2016) propone comunicar el cambio climático "a escala", es decir, de manera colectiva y no individual. De esta manera, se genera una narrativa más comprensible y menos controvertida para el espectador. ...
... En Research Handbook on Communicating Climate Change (2020: 3), David C. Holmes conecta las lecciones aprendidas en la crisis sanitaria del Covid-19 con el cambio climático, en el sentido en que las consecuencias sobre la salud individual de la ciudadanía consiguen la atención y llamada a la acción deseables para la problemática medioambiental. Como se observa en la bibliografía actual sobre esta temática, el debate sobre la efectividad de determinados tipos de imágenes para comunicar el cambio climático está abierto (Chapman et al., 2016;Holmes y Richardson, 2020;McAllister et al., 2019;O'Neill et al., 2013;O'Neill, 2020;Wozniak et al., 2015). ...
Article
... Research also found banal imagery of people, places and spaces, such as romanticized portrayals of people engaging with nature or polar bears floating on ice caps (Lester & Cottle, 2009;Wang et al., 2018). However, such imagery does little to effectively convey the severity of climate change or explain climate science (Chapman et al., 2016;Lough & Ashe, 2021;Rebich-Hespanha et al., 2015). Research suggests, "people feel disconnected from what they view or a responsibility to do something because the story is not something local or relatable, so they do not see how their actions have a direct or immediate impact" (Seelig, 2019, p. 64). ...
... Prior research suggests that news stories "structured around reasonable, fact-filled arguments with practical and attainable solutions" will help the reader better understand the complexities of the information conveyed (Seelig, 2016, p. 157). In the context of solution-based imagery, research finds that people are more responsive to images that localize and personalize climate impacts, and shows positive imagery of people working to mitigate climate impacts and viewers connected more intimately with the issues and not as passive receivers of content (Chapman et al., 2016;Feldman & Hart, 2018b;Lehman et al., 2019;Metag et al., 2016). However, text and images may generate awareness and create salience for climate issues, but "few capture both, suggesting that the media have not successfully used both salient and self-efficacy imagery together" (Seelig, 2016, p. 95). ...
... Our research emphasizes enhancing people's perceived self-efficacy by using positive frames in stories to guide individuals' understanding of how concrete climate solutions may sustain a positive outcome. In addition, people connect more to climate change when visuals personalize the issue because there is a human connection or emotional angle (Chapman et al., 2016;Feldman & Hart, 2018b;Lehman et al., 2019;Metag et al., 2016). As shown here, online sources are starting to humanize climate change by showing how individuals and groups of people actively engage in pro-environmental behaviors. ...
Article
A content analysis of legacy news and digital media from March 2015 to December 2018 found modest progress in communicating solutions to combat climate change. However, the mitigation frame continues to overshadow the adaptation frame and less emphasis on preparing for and adjusting to changing climate conditions happening now. Overall, legacy news and digital media still frame climate solutions using familiar terms and visuals that de-emphasize concrete, individual actions to combat climate change.
... Research also found banal imagery of people, places and spaces, such as romanticized portrayals of people engaging with nature or polar bears floating on ice caps (Lester & Cottle, 2009;Wang et al., 2018). However, such imagery does little to effectively convey the severity of climate change or explain climate science (Chapman et al., 2016;Lough & Ashe, 2021;Rebich-Hespanha et al., 2015). Research suggests, "people feel disconnected from what they view or a responsibility to do something because the story is not something local or relatable, so they do not see how their actions have a direct or immediate impact" (Seelig, 2019, p. 64). ...
... Prior research suggests that news stories "structured around reasonable, fact-filled arguments with practical and attainable solutions" will help the reader better understand the complexities of the information conveyed (Seelig, 2016, p. 157). In the context of solution-based imagery, research finds that people are more responsive to images that localize and personalize climate impacts, and shows positive imagery of people working to mitigate climate impacts and viewers connected more intimately with the issues and not as passive receivers of content (Chapman et al., 2016;Feldman & Hart, 2018b;Lehman et al., 2019;Metag et al., 2016). However, text and images may generate awareness and create salience for climate issues, but "few capture both, suggesting that the media have not successfully used both salient and self-efficacy imagery together" (Seelig, 2016, p. 95). ...
... Our research emphasizes enhancing people's perceived self-efficacy by using positive frames in stories to guide individuals' understanding of how concrete climate solutions may sustain a positive outcome. In addition, people connect more to climate change when visuals personalize the issue because there is a human connection or emotional angle (Chapman et al., 2016;Feldman & Hart, 2018b;Lehman et al., 2019;Metag et al., 2016). As shown here, online sources are starting to humanize climate change by showing how individuals and groups of people actively engage in pro-environmental behaviors. ...
Article
A content analysis of legacy news and digital media from March 2015 to December 2018 found modest progress in communicating solutions to combat climate change. However, the mitigation frame continues to overshadow the adaptation frame and less emphasis on preparing for and adjusting to changing climate conditions happening now. Overall, legacy news and digital media still frame climate solutions using familiar terms and visuals that de-emphasize concrete, individual actions to combat climate change.
... Scholars have noted climate fatigue, the idea that the public may lose interest in this issue because of overexposure, as a major obstacle to the public's attention to and engagement with climate change (Capstick et al., 2015). For instance, the repeated use of images of polar bears, which are arguably the most iconic representation of climate change in the Western world (Manzo, 2010), has led to mixed reactions among audience (Chapman et al., 2016). Some people respond to such images with greater support for climate change mitigation, while others react with a muted emotional response and even cynicism (Chapman et al., 2016). ...
... For instance, the repeated use of images of polar bears, which are arguably the most iconic representation of climate change in the Western world (Manzo, 2010), has led to mixed reactions among audience (Chapman et al., 2016). Some people respond to such images with greater support for climate change mitigation, while others react with a muted emotional response and even cynicism (Chapman et al., 2016). However, it is surprising to find little empirical research investigating the effects of climate fatigue on public perceptions. ...
... First, it is arguably the most iconic representation of climate change so even a brief exposure to a short news headline should easily increase the issue salience for many people (Manzo, 2010). Second, research has documented fatigue associated with polar bears being the representative of climate change impacts so it is ecologically valid to examine message fatigue associated with polar bears and climate change (Chapman et al., 2016). Third, because this study focuses on compassion fatigue, a victim of climate change impacts that can easily elicit compassionate feelings, such as polar bears (Swim & Bloodhart, 2014), would be an ideal choice. ...
Article
Repeated exposure and its associated fatigue are key obstacles to engagement that remain insufficiently addressed for climate change communication. To explore this issue, this study randomly assigned U.S. adults (N = 933) to one of five experimental conditions (number of polar bear news headlines: 0 vs. 1 vs. 3 vs. 7 vs. 10), in which they were exposed to a total of 20 news headlines in a brief amount of time. Overall, this study did not find evidence supporting the inverted-U shaped model concerning repeated exposure. In addition, chronic message fatigue played a moderating role such that for those with high chronic message fatigue, even one brief exposure resulted in stronger acute message fatigue, which was associated with lower compassion and weaker willingness to help polar bears and support climate change mitigation. Discussions on these exploratory results and implications for audience segmentation are provided.
... Overall, our study suggests ways that visuals of wildfire events can be integrated into climate change communication research. We employ the Q method to provide a mixed-methods approach to explore different interpretations of wildfire photographs in relation to climate change concerns, contributing to the theoretical understanding of visuals' effects, a relatively underdeveloped area in environmental communication (Chapman et al., 2016;Feldman & Hart, 2018). Findings offer practical advice regarding how to promote useful visual strategies for climate change communication and disaster coping efforts. ...
... Does Disaster Imagery Promote Concern for Climate Change? Among the many important factors that affect people's concern for climate change, imagery may play an important role, although its effect is rarely examined in climate change communication (Chapman et al., 2016). Scholars suggest photographs of the immediate disastrous impacts of climate change and the catastrophic scenes of climate-fueled environmental disasters (e.g., wildfire) might significantly increase people's climate change concern (Wang et al., 2018). ...
... Although hope is considered as important as fear in encouraging active social actions on climate change (Clingerman & Ehret, 2013), in our study's context, hopeful images disengaged the participants. The fact that images of officials and campaigners did not resonate is also consistent with the climate change visual communication literature, which suggests that overusing photographs of protesters and activist campaigns may lead to a reduction in their effectiveness (Chapman et al., 2016) and, furthermore, that politicians featuring prominently in climate change images may make lay public feel climate change is less salient to them . ...
Article
This study employs Q methodology to identify responses to wildfire imagery and climate change concern. Using photographs shared on Twitter during California’s 2018 Camp Fire, findings reveal three different perspectives on what images evoked the most concern among individuals: catastrophic destruction, smokescapes, and human or animal suffering. Results also reveal the images that evoke the least concern, such as scenes of aid and support and officials’ rescue meetings. These results extend literature on the role of visuals in climate change communication and have implications for the selection of images that appeal to the various perspectives of the broader public.
... Interestingly, images and icons that are non-threatening have been found to help trigger people's emotions and concerns (Leviston, Price, & Bishop, 2014). Images of solutions to climate change (e.g., windmills and solar panels) are generally perceived more positively (Chapman, Corner, Webster, & Markowitz, 2016;Lehman, Thompson, Davis, & Carlson, 2019;Leviston et al., 2014). Yet, these images are not always associated with an individual's motivation to change their personal behavior to reduce their impact on the environment or support government policies to fight climate change (Chapman et al., 2016). ...
... Images of solutions to climate change (e.g., windmills and solar panels) are generally perceived more positively (Chapman, Corner, Webster, & Markowitz, 2016;Lehman, Thompson, Davis, & Carlson, 2019;Leviston et al., 2014). Yet, these images are not always associated with an individual's motivation to change their personal behavior to reduce their impact on the environment or support government policies to fight climate change (Chapman et al., 2016). Although affective imagery is nearly synonymous with climate change, the extent to which these images affect behavior is unclear. ...
... Nearly all research on the affective imagery of climate change has relied on subjective self-report measures, image sorting procedures, and/or qualitative focus-group methods (Chapman et al., 2016;Leviston et al., 2014;Nicholson-Cole, 2005;O'Neill & Nicholson-Cole, 2009;Smith & Leiserowitz, 2014). Thus, the extent to which positive and negative emotional images of climate change affect behavior has not been directly assessed with objective (i.e., non-self-report) measures such as reaction time (RT). ...
Article
The impact of anthropogenic climate change is an ever-pressing challenge facing the global community. Making changes to minimize the negative effects of climate change is critical. Visual images of climate change are emotionally salient and have been found to capture attention. However, the degree to which emotional valence (i.e., positive or negative) and aspect of climate change (i.e., potential cause, effect, or solution) influence attentional capture by climate change relevant images is unknown. Across three experiments, we addressed this knowledge gap by measuring attention to these types of images with a dot-probe task. We found a consistent capture of attention by emotionally positive images of climate change solutions (e.g., windmills and solar panels), but not emotionally negative images of causes (e.g., industrial pollution) and effects (e.g., natural disasters and melting polar ice caps) of climate change. Negative images of climate change were found to produce a general slowing of reaction time, which may reflect a “freezing” response. Individual differences in attentional capture by climate change images were related to environmental disposition. Our results suggest that positive images of climate change solutions are attention grabbing and in turn may be the most suitable images to motivate environmentally friendly action or behavior.
... However, existing studies have focused primarily on textual messages. The understanding of visual communication of climate change is limited (Chapman et al., 2016). Among the available research, most scholars paid attention to visual representations of the issue (O'Neill, 2013), how climate change was visually represented through various subjects or thematic contexts (Smith & Joffe, 2009), and the interplay between imagery and texts (Dahl & Fløttum, 2017;DiFrancesco & Young, 2011). ...
... However, people are most drawn to personally relatable icons, such as images of their local areas (O'Neill & Hulme, 2009). Ordinary people in images, as opposed to policy-makers or celebrities, could also provide a concrete "personalizing" influence on the public (Chapman et al., 2016;O'Neill et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Recent studies have found mixed evidence about the role of psychological distance of climate change in people’s engagement with the issue. To gain more clarity in the application of construal level theory of psychological distance in climate change communication, we used two online experiments to investigate how abstract and concrete construals of climate change imagery may differentially influence people’s perceived psychological distances to the issue. Specifically, we clarified the conceptual differences between two subdimensions (i.e. egocentric and nonegocentric) of psychological distance and showed how the two types differ in climate change communication. Findings also showed that concrete construals of climate change images made participants estimate less egocentric geographical, temporal, and social distances to climate change, which led to greater mitigation behavioral intentions. But this construal-level effect did not exist when participants estimated the nonegocentric distances – the perceived distances between climate change and others (i.e. other locations, other people).
... Video allows for dynamic storytelling in a way that static visuals [37] and text alone [34] do not. While the literature is divided on whether climate visuals of impacts or solutions are more effective [38,39], the medium of video can allow both impact and action-oriented visuals to be woven together to produce a message that provides a balance of hope and urgency to motivate viewers. Similarly, some have argued that effective climate imagery should capture the depth and complexity of both the problem and its solutions to engage a wide audience [22,39]. ...
... While the literature is divided on whether climate visuals of impacts or solutions are more effective [38,39], the medium of video can allow both impact and action-oriented visuals to be woven together to produce a message that provides a balance of hope and urgency to motivate viewers. Similarly, some have argued that effective climate imagery should capture the depth and complexity of both the problem and its solutions to engage a wide audience [22,39]. The results here suggest that both visuals of the problem (e.g. ...
Article
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Given the climate crisis and its cumulative impacts on public health, effective communication strategies that engage the public in adaptation and mitigation are critical. Many have argued that a health frame increases engagement, as do visual methodologies including online and interactive platforms, yet to date there has been limited research on audience responses to health messaging using visual interventions. This study explores public attitudes regarding communication tools focused on climate change and climate-affected Lyme disease through six focus groups (n = 61) in rural and urban southern Manitoba, Canada. The results add to the growing evidence of the efficacy of visual and storytelling methods in climate communications and argues for a continuum of mediums: moving from video, text, to maps. Findings underscore the importance of tailoring both communication messages and mediums to increase uptake of adaptive health and environmental behaviours, for some audiences bridging health and climate change while for others strategically decoupling them.
... To better understand donor behavior, it is important to assess real-world fundraising campaigns using rigorous methods. Photographic images are frequently used in fundraising campaigns for environmental causes and are generally regarded as having an impact on donor behavior [8][9][10][11]. However, little is currently known about which types of images are most effective at communicating conservation messages and engaging donor support. ...
... While three of the poster conditions used images with a positive valence, none of the conditions used images with a negative valence. Some research suggests that positively framed images may inspire engagement but may also lead to complacency [8,34]. In contrast, images with a negative valence (e.g., those illustrating losses or problems) may be more likely to inspire donations [20,35]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Many environmental organizations use photographic images to engage donors and supporters. While images play a role in fundraising, visual framing remains understudied in the environmental field. Few real-world experiments have examined which types of images result in higher donations to biodiversity conservation. We examined the role of images in conservation fundraising through a public experiment at Zoomarine, a marine park located in southern Portugal. Zoomarine runs a program called Dolphin Emotions where visitors pay to learn about dolphin biology and to interact with dolphins. We placed a donation box and a large informational poster about the Marine Megafauna Foundation, a conservation partner, in the lounge of the Dolphin Emotions program, which is open to participants and their families. The text on the poster, which solicited donations for the Marine Megafauna Foundation, was held constant, while four different image conditions were tested: dolphins, ocean wildlife, children, and people staring out from the poster (i.e., “watching eyes”). Each image condition was displayed for three days at a time and was on display for at least seven randomly assigned three-day periods over the course of 91 days. 20,944 visitors passed the donation box and the four poster conditions during this time and a total of € 952.40 was collected. The differences in mean donations in € per visitor per 3-day period were not statistically significant, F (3, 25) = 0.745, p = 0.54. Thus, we did not find that different images had a significant influence on donations to conservation. This may be due to our choice of visual frames or to the use of a donation box, which is a passive fundraising channel. Future research should examine how visual framing influences donations in other public settings and should test the influence of other visual frames on philanthropic behavior.
... In the latter case, highly emotional negative advertisements further reduced the public perceived credibility of farming, whereas it increased the perceived credibility of PETA (Scudder and Bishop Mills, 2009 However, a visual campaign promoted by Greenpeace was able to bring public attention to the climate change issue using photographs that depicted melting glaciers (Doyle, 2007). Chapman et al. (2016) conducted a study to understand what type of images are more effective at engaging the public about climate change issues. For example, the authors observed that images showing serious local impact of climate change were more persuasive than those representing global impact (Chapman et al., 2016). ...
... Chapman et al. (2016) conducted a study to understand what type of images are more effective at engaging the public about climate change issues. For example, the authors observed that images showing serious local impact of climate change were more persuasive than those representing global impact (Chapman et al., 2016). ...
Thesis
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Vaccines are considered one of the most effective public health interventions, but they have been subject to opposition since they were first proposed. Anti-vaccine activists disseminate and sensationalise objections to vaccinations through various channels, including the internet and social media outlets, such as Twitter. These means allow them to reach the public directly and potentially influence their intention to vaccinate. Twitter allows users to share short textual messages and images. Although, images have strong communicative power, there is a lack of research on the networks and actors sharing vaccine images. Moreover, there are no studies on the meaning and messages of these images. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the dissemination, content, and meaning of anti- and pro-vaccine images in relation to their respective Twitter networks. A mixed methods approach was used to address the research aims, comprising social network analysis, visual content analysis, semiotics and visual social semiotics analyses. Anti-vaccine users re-shared images with each other; they provided support and strengthened their anti-vaccination beliefs. Some key actors, primarily activists and parents, influenced the information flow within the community. Anti-vaccine images claimed that vaccines are not safe, advocated against mandatory vaccinations and promoted vaccine conspiracy theories. They also provided alternative sources of information or pseudoscientific evidence supporting their messages while increasing distrust in traditional experts. The pro-vaccine users form loose connections that favour the dissemination of new vaccine information and networking. In this network, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and public health organisations influenced the dissemination of images, and the images mostly featured NGO campaigns and achievements in developing countries or promoted the flu vaccine in Western countries. In conclusion, anti- and pro-vaccine networks are insular and share different images in different ways; they use different visual communication strategies to reach their audiences. This resulted in a lack of a middle ground in visual communication of vaccines on Twitter. Addressing this gap could be an opportunity for future immunisation campaigns.
... However, they warn of the danger of trivialising climate change by making it local. Interestingly, in the international survey which their report is based on, respondents seemed to think local climate change such as flooding was less serious than climate change elsewhere, because they assumed Western infrastructure is well prepared (Chapman et al., 2016;Corner et al., 2015). This is a reaction we could very well witness in Norway. ...
... People appear to be responding stronger to climate impacts such as floods and extreme weather than to information about causes of, or solutions to climate change. At the same time, caution is required: while images of climate impacts were most motivating and can prompt a desire to respond, because they are emotionally powerful, they can also be overwhelming ( Chapman et al., 2016;Corner et al., 2015). So, in order to avoid such "emotional numbing", according to both the CRED report and Climate Visuals, it is important to link impacts to solutions. ...
Technical Report
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Like most National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), MET Norway is primarily known for forecasting the weather. Still, there is also a high degree of trust among the public in our climate research and in our TV meteorologists as climate change communicators. The TV meteorologists are experienced science communicators, speak a language that people understand, and already have a well established audience. With this background, we initiated the project "TV meteorologists as climate communicators" in 2019. The main objective is to integrate research-based, localized climate content in the weather presentation, to inform and engage the public about climate change. By training TV meteorologists as climate communicators, we reach a large part of the population through well-established channels. The goal is to link knowledge of climate change with people's everyday lives and their experience of the weather. Research on climate change communication points to several advantages of such an approach. In this report, we especially call attention to the reports from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED), Climate Visuals, and Center for International Climate Research (CICERO). Summarized, the three most relevant research-based principles of climate change communication for MET Norway are as follows: • Make climate change relevant: Local rather than global picture • Current changes are more engaging than future scenarios • Focus on impact rather than solutions We claim that TV meteorologists have an important role in climate change communication, with a potential that is often not yet fully realized. NMHSs ' with both climate scientists and meteorological communication experts can combine this knowledge to inform societies about local impacts of climate change. The project described here builds on such existing expertise at MET Norway, and paves the way for a strategic implementation of meaningful climate communication for the Norwegian public.
... In both the case, people can learn about it from their friends, neighbors, or colleagues. (Chapman et al, 2016) Motivate to Change Behavior: The failure of traditional communication strategies is influenced further by the fact that campaigns generally remain in the "provision of information" stage. Although information dissemination strategies have increased public awareness, but they have not help to promote behavioral changes. ...
Book
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Plant life and reproduction are constantly threatened by biotic and abiotic pressures generated by pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, and oomycetes, as well as environmental variables (Panstruga et al., 2009). The majority of plant pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, enter the apoplast and extract nutrients through a variety of enzymatic and physical methods. The plant's principal goal is to be healthy and productive by defending itself against pathogens via physical and chemical barriers such as the cell wall, waxes, hairs, antimicrobial enzymes, and secondary metabolites. Pathogens have the ability to break through these barriers and get access to their hosts. For successful defence, the plant must be able to identify microbial assault. When a pathogen is identified, the plant responds by inducing apoplastic defence to block microbial enzymes, reinforce cell walls, or poison the pathogen. The microbial phytopathogens must have some sort of interaction with the cell wall. Necrotrophic pathogens, which destroy cells and feed on dead tissues, macerate plant tissues by secreting a large number of hydrolytic enzymes that break down cell wall polymers (Laluk and Mengiste, 2010). Biotrophic and hemibiotrophic infections, on the other hand, must interact with their hosts by generating specialised structures, such as the haustorium produced by oomycete mildews, powdery mildew, and rust-causing fungus (Szabo and Bushnell, 2001). Due to invasion difficulties, the characteristics of the plant cell wall have altered, activating a defensive barrier for those bacteria that have evolved a way to overcome the produced barriers. Plants have evolved an innate immunity system known as pattern triggered immunity (PTI), which is based on a set of plasma membrane-anchored pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) that detect a set of microbial molecules known as microbial/pathogen associated molecular patterns (MAMPs/PAMPs) and prevents pathogen development (Boller and He, 2009).
... Considerably fewer projects explored positive framing, propositions that can result in better engagement (Bertolotti and Catellani, 2014;Mayer and Smith, 2019). As suggestions for future work, we point to IPCC's recommendations (Corner et al., 2018): a) focus on the real world, not abstract ideas, to frame the message in a relatable way; b) be compelling by using stories more than statistics or graphs; c) connect with what matters to your audience -consider values and political views; d) include solutions on your narrative so the audience feels empowered instead of overwhelmed (Chapman et al., 2016). These suggestions can be used towards a more positive framing that works against the typical "doom and gloom" narrative associated with climate change (Beehler, 2019). ...
Chapter
Climate change is arguably the most urgent crisis of our lifetimes, and the Design community has been continuously exploring how to respond to this complex challenge. However, the past few years have demonstrated just how difficult climate change communication and engagement can be. As a response to the Anthropocene challenges, HCI and Design researchers have been debating the need for a shift from user-centered design to more inclusive, multispecies perspectives that also focus on systemic change. This is, therefore, an opportune moment to question how Design researchers have been approaching climate change and its interaction challenges, supporting the discussion on where the field should go. We present a literature review of HCI and Design research projects on climate change that target the general public. The result is the analysis and discussion of a corpus of 74 projects through the grounded theory review method. From our findings, we propose implications for design that take advantage of diverse interaction strategies and hope to inform future applied research on this pressing topic.KeywordsHuman-computer interactionDesignCommunicationInteractionVisualizationLiterature reviewSustainabilityClimate change
... Positively framed images, in contrast, may elicit feelings of complacency. When Chapman et al. (2016) showed climate imagery to people from the United Kingdom, United States of America, and Germany, they found that images depicting solutions to climate change made people feel the most positively about the issue but were least likely to motivate them to take action. Similarly, in Louisiana, a study on visuals in coastal communication found that depicting short-term goals and successes tended to reduce feelings of urgency about environmental issues (Altinay & Williams, 2019). ...
Article
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Although images play a significant role in environmental communications, few studies have empirically examined whether positive or negative images are more effective at engaging attention and promoting behavior change. We conducted a 6‐week public experiment at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida, to test whether viewing a photography exhibit featuring images of the impacts of marine plastic pollution on ocean ecosystems (negative valence) or images of pristine ocean ecosystems (positive valence) would increase engagement, monetary donations to conservation, and pledges to help protect the ocean from plastic pollution. We tracked 1179 adults while observing the negative exhibit and 1304 adults while observing the positive exhibit. Of the adults tracked, significantly more engaged with the negative exhibit (270; 22.90%) than the positive exhibit (159; 12.19%). The mean number of pledges per visitor for the negative exhibit was significantly higher than for the positive exhibit. However, there was not a significant difference in donations between the two exhibits. These results suggest that environmental organizations that seek to capture attention should consider using images that show the negative impacts of human behavior on the environment. In an experiment in a museum, an exhibit featuring negatively framed environmental images more effectively engaged visitors and garnered pledges than an exhibit featuring positive images. There was not a significant difference in donations between the two exhibits.
... To avoid this interference, we mixed the pollution images with twelve other images relevant to climate change topics to ensure that participants did not view two pollution images in succession. The climate change images were obtained from Climate Visuals (Chapman et al., 2016) and the Affective Climate Images Database (Lehman et al., 2019), which are publicly available for academic use. Altogether, each participant needed to complete 24 trials per block. ...
Article
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A growing number of studies have shown that impaired visibility caused by particulate matter pollution influences emotional wellbeing. However, evidence is still scant on how this effect varies across individuals and over repetitive visual exposure in a controlled environment. Herein, we designed a lab-based experiment (41 subjects, 6 blocks) where participants were presented with real-scene images of 12 different PM2.5 concentrations in each block. Emotional valence (negative to positive) and arousal (calm to excited) were self-rated by participants per image, and the response time for each rating was recorded. We find that as pollution level increases from 10 to 260 µg/m3, valence scores decrease, whereas arousal scores decline first and then bounce back, following a U-shaped trend. When air quality deteriorates, individual variability decreases in hedonic valence but increases in arousal. Over blocks, repetitive visual exposure increases valence at a moderate pollution level but aggravates negative emotions in severely polluted conditions (> 150 µg/m3). Finally, we find females, people who are slow in making responses, and those who are highly aroused by clean air tend to express more negative responses (so-called negativity bias) to ambient pollution than their respective counterparts. These results provide deeper insights into individual-level emotional responses to dirty air in a controlled environment. Although the findings in our pilot study should only be directly applied to the conditions assessed herein, we introduce a framework that can be replicated in different regions to assess the impact of air pollution on local emotional wellbeing.
... Although either the qualitative approach using thematic analysis or the quantitative approach using linguistic analysis could have addressed our research question, combining qualitative and quantitative methods to form a mixed-methods approach had the potential to draw on the strengths of both, providing additional insight where results agreed, differed, or added meaning (Meissner et al., 2011). Mixed-methods approaches have been applied successfully to areas such as climate change communications (Chapman et al., 2016) and antimicrobial use (Doidge et al., 2021), where they have added depth and context to results. Therefore, within this study, we sought to apply a novel mixed-methods approach to this subject, using thematic and linguistic analysis to understand the underlying processes and context behind public preferences for different dairy cow environments, including access to pasture. ...
Article
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Global production of milk has doubled over the past 50 yr, yet dairy farming in high-income countries faces scrutiny over practices perceived to affect animal welfare. One such practice is housing dairy cows year-round without access to pasture, which is the norm across North America and increasing within Europe, despite evidence of significant public support for grazing. Diverging opinion between the farming community and the public about what animal welfare means could be a key factor; however, lack of insight into the understanding and motivations underpinning public preferences for grazing could also hamper resolution. On the basis that more information could increase engagement between parties, 60 members of the public across the United Kingdom were interviewed to understand their perspectives of 3 dairy farming scenarios incorporating different amounts of grazing or housing. Their responses were analyzed using a mixed-methods approach combining reflexive thematic analysis with linguistic analysis. The integrated results indicated participants had a dual vision of the cow, seeing her as both domestic and wild. A scenario with housing in winter and grazing in summer therefore suited her, providing both protection and naturalness, and was most associated with analytic thinking. Interviewees also confessed ignorance about the cow's needs, either deferring to others' judgment—including the cow herself—or using familiarity and anthropomorphism to assess the scenarios. This again resulted in most optimism, confidence, and positivity for housing in winter and grazing in summer, and most negativity for housing cows year-round. Grazing was aspirational, but keeping cows outside in winter was confusing and concerning. These findings offer opportunities for the dairy industry to adapt communication or systems to better meet societal views; for example, incorporating access to pasture or increasing cow choice.
... Given the rapid growth of protest movements and imagery in news media within the United States and abroad, understanding the effects of protest imagery is another important and understudied direction for climate researchers. Climate strikes are now one of the most common collective action tactics globally (Fisher & Nasrin, 2021); yet, some studies have documented public negativity toward images depicting climate demonstrations (Chapman et al., 2016). This research suggests imagery conveying people impacted by climate change may be more compelling than images of protestors, which may resonate more strongly with those identifying as activists (Wang et al., 2018). ...
Article
In response to the largest climate demonstrations in history and growing recognition of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on disadvantaged communities, environmental organizations are increasingly looking to diversify their memberships and enhance public outreach. In this review, we consider unique challenges inherent in building racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse climate coalitions and highlight three often implicit assumptions that may undermine the effectiveness of equity and identity-based climate communications and public outreach efforts: (a) that prodiversity messaging is viewed as inclusive by both racial and ethnic majority and minority groups; (b) that making specific identity groups salient will engage targeted individuals; and (c) that enhancing the salience of climate-related inequities bolsters public support for efforts to reduce those inequities. Drawing from psychological research and theory as well as real-world examples, we discuss problems with each of these assumptions, highlight current knowledge gaps, and offer practical recommendations for more effectively tailoring communications to broaden public engagement across differences.
... It was Collier (1957) who first mentioned the use of photographs in interviews. Because of their realistic representation, photographs offer the possibility of observing and discussing actual events and subjects with other observers (Chapman et al., 2016), and have been widely and successfully employed in the sociological version of visual research, psychology (Sustik, 1999), education (Smith & Woodward, 1999), and organizational studies (Buchanan, 1998;Özüm & Temel, 2018). The photographs used in this study provide a general depiction of climate change impacts. ...
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Exposure to images on the impact of climate change has been shown to trigger low-carbon awareness and behaviors in individuals. In this study, pre-exposure to photographs of climate change impact, low-carbon awareness, and behaviors of a control group and an experimental group were not significantly different. However, following exposure, the two groups showed significant differences in terms of low-carbon awareness and behavior. Moreover, the experimental group was found to have better low-carbon awareness and behavior than the control group without exposure. Therefore, exposure to climate change impact photographs may play an important role in promoting low-carbon awareness and behavior. The findings have significant implications for climate change and low-carbon policy-making.
... Based on research conducted worldwide and their own combination of qualitative and quantitative methods (Chapman et al., 2016), the British think tank Climate Outreach proposed seven fundamental principles for the visual communication of climate change that will be used as the basis for our research (Climate Change Visuals, 2018), as explained in the following methods section. ...
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Climate change communication on social media plays a prominent role in efforts undertaken by state agencies, NGOs, and international organizations, to make citizens aware of this phenomenon. The images used to communicate climate change are of great importance, since they can help to effectively raise citizen awareness. Building upon news values theory and the concept of availability heuristics, this research paper aims to identify principles that can be used for effective visual communication of climate change on social media on a cross-national scale, based upon analyses of characteristics of images that foster interaction on Twitter. We conducted a content analysis of a random selection of images (photographs, illustrations, and graphics, n = 380), posted on Twitter that were included in the so-called ‘top tweets’ about climate change. The results indicate that the types of images that are used on social media are relatively similar to those employed by conventional media, although images of identifiable people are less frequently shown on social media. We also deduced that four practical principles are especially relevant to foster user interaction on Twitter through images: (i) show ‘real people’ (i.e. non-staged images of people that transmit real emotions), (ii) tell a story, (iii) include a local connection, and (iv) show impacts or actions by people who are directly affected. These practical principles are based on the more general principles of meaningfulness and personification, two foundations that can help to overcome some of the main barriers to citizens’ perception of climate change as a relevant issue with serious consequences in their lives. Campaigns on social media that use imagery based on these practical and general principles can be effective in communicating the shared responsibility to address climate change. This can have a relevant impact on social perception, since it can encourage citizens to care about climate, which is regarded as necessary to increase participation in climate action. Key policy insights • Social media can play a prominent role in campaigns to make citizens aware of climate change. • Images can help to effectively raise citizen awareness of climate change. • Four practical principles can be effective in increasing user interaction on social media with images about climate: show ‘real’ people, tell a story, include a local connection, and show people who are directly affected. • Visual campaigns based on the more general principles of meaningfulness and personification can be effective in representing climate change as a relevant issue in citizens’ lives. • These practical and more general principles can have a relevant impact on the social perception of climate change and increase citizen participation in climate debate and action.
... In a qualitative study, images showing the consequences of the climate crisis elicited positive emotional responses and were less polarizing for climate change sceptics. However, these images were less motivating for action than authentic and credible human subjects in climate pain [61]. ...
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In this article, we address the climate crisis as a moral issue and discuss the relevant moral and emotional processes and the role of the media underlying the motivations of individuals to behave in a less carbon-emitting manner. We provide theoretical insights from social psychology and emotion research and empirical data based on an online survey from Germany (N = 979). In the theoretical part, we outline the role of emotions in influencing carbon-related behavior, with aparticular focus on self-condemning (e.g., guilt or shame), self-praising (e.g., pride), or other-sufferingemotions (e.g., empathy). We further summarize the reasons for the low influence of the media oncarbon-related behavior compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. The empirical results confirm that participants reported other- suffering and self-condemning emotions in response to news content and rated their likelihood of personal behavior change as high when confronted with news about the climate crisis on a daily basis, as has been widely the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. We arguethat the media is responsible for regularly reporting on the victims of the climate crisis in order to generalize self-condemning and other-suffering emotions into affective attitudes. Opinion leaders can function as role models for low-carbon behavior.
... In a qualitative study, images showing the consequences of the climate crisis elicited positive emotional responses and were less polarizing for climate change sceptics. However, these images were less motivating for action than authentic and credible human subjects in climate pain [61]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we address the climate crisis as a moral issue and discuss the relevant moral and emotional processes and the role of the media underlying the motivations of individuals to behave in a less carbon-emitting manner. We provide theoretical insights from social psychology and emotion research and empirical data based on an online survey from Germany (N = 979). In the theoretical part, we outline the role of emotions in influencing carbon-related behavior, with a particular focus on self-condemning (e.g., guilt or shame), self-praising (e.g., pride), or other-suffering emotions (e.g., empathy). We further summarize the reasons for the low influence of the media on carbon-related behavior compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. The empirical results confirm that participants reported other- suffering and self-condemning emotions in response to news content and rated their likelihood of personal behavior change as high when confronted with news about the climate crisis on a daily basis, as has been widely the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that the media is responsible for regularly reporting on the victims of the climate crisis in order to generalize self-condemning and other-suffering emotions into affective attitudes. Opinion leaders can function as role models for low-carbon behavior.
... In a qualitative study, images showing the consequences of the climate crisis elicited positive emotional responses and were less polarizing for climate change sceptics. However, these images were less motivating for action than authentic and credible human subjects in climate pain [61]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we address the climate crisis as a moral issue and discuss the relevant moral and emotional processes and the role of the media underlying the motivations of individuals to behave in a less carbon-emitting manner. We provide theoretical insights from social psychology and emotion research and empirical data based on an online survey from Germany (N = 979). In the theoretical part, we outline the role of emotions in influencing carbon-related behavior, with a particular focus on self-condemning (e.g., guilt or shame), self-praising (e.g., pride), or other-suffering emotions (e.g., empathy). We further summarize the reasons for the low influence of the media on carbon-related behavior compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. The empirical results confirm that participants reported other- suffering and self-condemning emotions in response to news content and rated their likelihood of personal behavior change as high when confronted with news about the climate crisis on a daily basis, as has been widely the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that the media is responsible for regularly reporting on the victims of the climate crisis in order to generalize self-condemning and other-suffering emotions into affective attitudes. Opinion leaders can function as role models for low-carbon behavior.
... Climate change awareness campaigns have thus traditionally aimed to make the real and threatening impact of climate change on individuals' daily lifestyles salient (e.g. Chapman et al., 2016). We therefore believe that the COVID-19 crisis, which has entered the realm of psychological proximity, has made the impact of global societal crises on our lifestyles concrete and tangible. ...
Article
Global climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic that are among the most pressing societal crises share multiple links. It has been shown for instance, that the measures to fight against the coronavirus may impact (at least for a while) greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the COVID-19 can serve as a prototypical example for climate change, demonstrating how global crises may become personally relevant and certain. Here, our aim was to investigate whether explicit reference to the COVID-19 crisis in communication messages on global climate change could enhance message effectiveness. Through two pre-registered studies (Ntotal = 651), we examined whether the use of factual elements stressing the certainty dimension of the COVID-19 pandemic (Study 1) or the use of arguments linking COVID-19 and climate change framed in terms of “positive” or “negative” outcomes (Study 2) could impact the effectiveness of climate messages. Results did not show that messages aiming to increase the certainty of the climate crisis by linking it to the COVID-19 pandemic increased perceived message effectiveness. However, we have found that emotional framing influenced perceived message effectiveness, but not pro-environmental behaviour. Results are discussed in terms of the impact of the concepts of certainty, message framing and emotions on climate change communication.
... Experienced facilitators guided participants through a semi-structured discussion, which was designed to allow broad-ranging conversation and contributions from all participants. This has been highlighted as a critical factor in enabling a detailed study of social and technical issues (Chapman et al. 2016). Each focus group discussion followed three stages (Table 1). ...
Article
Water management increasingly focuses on tackling stormwater pollution to improve waterway health. Community members have a role in adopting pollution-reduction practices and supporting technologies such as water sensitive urban design. However, because communities are unfamiliar with these practices and technologies, little is known about how they make sense of these ‘water sensitive innovations’. Drawing on Diffusion of Innovations theory, we conduct focus groups across different regions of Australia. Our findings indicate that key barriers to adoption included poor understanding of the relative advantage of these practices and technologies, and perceived poor compatibility with community members’ lifestyle and local geography. In turn, appraisals of relative advantage were constrained by limited observability of stormwater pollution and the benefits that innovations generate for people and the environment. Our findings suggest engagement strategies should emphasize the relevance and advantages of water sensitive innovations, and help individuals visualize the intangible elements of stormwater pollution management.
... While previous literature recognized the value of psychological distance in climate change communication, there is a lack of understanding of the effect of construal levelthe level of abstraction at which climate change is mentally represented. In particular, researchers in psychology have called for the integration of construal level and emotional considerations (Dhar and Kim 2007), and an in-depth understanding of visuals' effect (Chapman et al. 2016;Wang et al. 2018), which together may help account for many climate change related attitudes and behavior intentions. Our study attempts to fill this gap by testing the effect of the climate change images' level of abstractions, as well as the mediating role of emotional valence. ...
Article
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This study examines how the level of concreteness and abstraction of climate change imagery influences people’s responses via emotional valence, and how such effect is moderated by people’s visual literacy. Findings show that concrete images promote negative feelings, which subsequently reduce people’s perceived distance to climate change, and encourage concern and behavioral intention. Less visually literate people are more influenced by the visuals’ effect and are more motivated by concrete images. Our study integrates theoretical perspectives from construal level, emotional valence, and visual literacy, while also offering practical advice regarding how to effectively visualize climate change to engage a wide audience.
... representations of climate change in Western countries and as a result they score high in open-ended imagery surveys (Smith & Leiserowitz, 2012). Recent studies show that such images appear to reinforce perceptions that climate change is a distant, long-term issue and thus they reduce perceived salience (O'Neill et al., 2013), or sometimes they even cultivate cynicism and denialism (Chapman et al., 2016). An inductive content analysis was then performed by two coders to reduce the data into 29 thematic categories. ...
Article
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China has pledged to cap its carbon emission by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, making knowledge about how the Chinese general public understands climate change crucial and timely. This article reports findings from surveys of climate change perceptions in six Chinese cities (∼40 million people). We identify 10 distinct mental images and 37 subcategories that represent a wide spectrum of perceptions of climate change among the Chinese public. The results reveal that people tend to conflate climate change with air pollution and seasonal weather changes. Although skepticism is not prominent, voices for action are also limited. Furthermore, climate change perceptions are heterogenous across regions and demographic groups. Respondents from developed cities are less likely to conflate climate change with local weather. People living in polluted regions tend to equate climate change with air pollution. Well‐educated, high‐income, and young residents are more aware of the scientific dimensions of climate change and its consequences. Females and the elderly think more about health implications and how to adapt. Compared to Western countries, opinions about climate change in China are less polarized and controversial, probably due to different political realities and media framings. This study provides an updated picture of climate change perceptions among the Chinese general public and recommends targeted and multi‐level communication strategies for policymakers.
... Some respondents described how impacts, in a general sense, may affect livelihoods (n = 16, 15%), as a means of helping the audience to understand climate change in the context of their own daily lives and experiences. Research shows that without a clear indication of how people can respond, climate change can feel overwhelming (Chapman et al. 2016). A few survey respondents (n = 4, 4%) mention, for example, wishing to 'empower' or 'provide hope to' the audience such that they feel better able to cope with the problem of climate change. ...
Article
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An integral part of the communications strategy for Working Group I (WGI) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is to support its authors, in all geographical regions, to engage a diverse range of audiences with climate change. Building upon a Communications Handbook for IPCC authors and a bespoke photo library, both produced by Climate Outreach for WGI in 2018 ahead of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C, this paper describes the findings of a global survey that gathered practical examples of efforts by WGI authors to engage non-specialist audiences around the world with climate change. A total of 107 survey responses from 44 countries were evaluated against a theoretical framework outlining key principles of effective public engagement drawn from the social science literature. Ideas for how climate scientists can enhance their communication efforts are discussed, illustrated with case studies drawn from the survey responses showing WGI authors using creative techniques to engage people with climate change, including in Senegal, Argentina, India, the Bahamas and Indonesia. This is followed by guidance for the IPCC on developing communications strategies in a way that gives climate scientists confidence to communicate their work and promotes evidence-based techniques. By critically reflecting on the communication practices within the IPCC’s global author network, the paper provides insights and recommendations on how to continue to strengthen the connection between the theory and practice of climate science communication.
... Com base em pesquisas internacionais de ciências sociais (CHAPMAN et al., 2016;WANG et al., 2018), o Climate Visuals baseia-se em sete princípios fundamentais para uma comunicação visual eficaz, destacando a importância de mostrar pessoas "reais", locais e contar histórias que importam para comunidades em todo o mundo. Entretanto, esse conteúdo é ainda exclusivamente em inglês, um documento ilustrado em PDF (Portable Document Format) com 41 páginas contendo fotografias coloridas e gráficos, pouco acessível a maior parte da população brasileira. ...
Article
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Imagens visuais atraentes podem ser a chave para comunicar com eficácia as mudanças climáticas. Longe de fotos clichês de geleiras derretidas, ursos polares e chaminés, os tópicos do Relatório Especial em 1.5C (SR15) do Painel Intergovernamental sobre Mudanças Climáticas contam uma história mais humana e urgente. É preciso ter claro que os efeitos dessas mudanças, sejam por influência antrópica ou como parte de ciclos naturais, são diferentes para cada área geográfica e que provocam e provocarão impactos, de formas e graus distintos sobre cada aspecto da vida, incluindo os bens do patrimônio cultural arqueológico. A presente pesquisa busca mapear como a estratégia proposta pelo Programa Climate Visuals, desenvolvido e elaborado pela Climate Research, pode ser adaptada ao contexto brasileiro, promovendo o acesso ao seu conteúdo também a pessoas com deficiência visual. E, através dessa primeira abordagem, nortear os próximos passos de construção de um material digital que realize uma comunicação visual não apenas atraente, mas também acessível, das mudanças climáticas e seus impactos sobre o patrimônio cultural arqueológico.
... Visualizing the effects of climate change has been found to help overcome distancing, a psychological phenomenon resulting in climate change being perceived as temporally and spatially distant and uncertain (Sheppard, 2012;Spence et al., 2012), and thus less likely to trigger action. In fact, images of extreme weather events (Leviston et al., 2014) and their impacts (Chapman et al., 2016) have been found to be especially likely to trigger behavioral changes. ...
Preprint
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Climate change is a major threat to humanity, and the actions required to prevent its catastrophic consequences include changes in both policy-making and individual behaviour. However, taking action requires understanding the effects of climate change, even though they may seem abstract and distant. Projecting the potential consequences of extreme climate events such as flooding in familiar places can help make the abstract impacts of climate change more concrete and encourage action. As part of a larger initiative to build a website that projects extreme climate events onto user-chosen photos, we present our solution to simulate photo-realistic floods on authentic images. To address this complex task in the absence of suitable training data, we propose ClimateGAN, a model that leverages both simulated and real data for unsupervised domain adaptation and conditional image generation. In this paper, we describe the details of our framework, thoroughly evaluate components of our architecture and demonstrate that our model is capable of robustly generating photo-realistic flooding.
... In today's hyperstimulated modern societies, visuals are used ubiquitously to illustrate climate change. However, existing studies on climate change communication primarily focused on textual information, and research in the visual domain has been limited (Chapman et al., 2016;Hart & Feldman, 2016). Although recent studies have started to examine visuals, they primarily focused on media's visual coverage of the issue (e.g., frames, O'Neill et al., 2015;Rebich-Hespanha et al., 2015;emotions, Feldman & Hart, 2018), with little attention devoted to the examination of people's perceptions of these visuals (Metag et al., 2016). ...
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Relying on construal-level theory, we experimentally test how the level of concreteness and abstraction of climate change imagery affects climate change responses among a diverse sample of U.S. adults ( N = 448). Results show that concrete visual messaging practices cannot directly lead to increased level of concern or behavioral intentions. Instead, they may backfire for conservatives, less-efficacious people, and people who are low in proenvironmental values. Our findings contribute to the effective climate change visual communication literature by incorporating a construal-level perspective, while also offering practical implications regarding how to use visuals more effectively to engage the public with climate change.
... At the same time, there are several scientific reports on the use of graphene-based materials in biology and medicine [7][8][9]. One of the ideas is the utilization of its chemically inert properties for coating medical devices and the use of the external surface as a biologically neutral protective anti-corrosion film [10][11][12][13]. Covering implants and medical instruments with graphene-like materials does not lead to the problem of releasing graphene from the human body because the material is attached to the implant. ...
Article
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Graphene coating on the cobalt-chromium alloy was optimized and successfully carried out by a cold-wall chemical vapor deposition (CW-CVD) method. A uniform layer of graphene for a large area of the Co-Cr alloy (discs of 10 mm diameter) was confirmed by Raman mapping coated area and analyzing specific G and 2D bands; in particular, the intensity ratio and the number of layers were calculated. The effect of the CW-CVD process on the microstructure and the morphology of the Co-Cr surface was investigated by scanning X-ray photoelectron microscope (SPEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Nanoindentation and scratch tests were performed to determine mechanical properties of Co-Cr disks. The results of microbiological tests indicate that the studied Co-Cr alloys covered with a graphene layer did not show a pro-coagulant effect. The obtained results confirm the possibility of using the developed coating method in medical applications, in particular in the field of cardiovascular diseases.
... Corner et al. (2018) sets out six techniques for effective communication: being a confident communicator, talking about the real world, connecting with what matters to the audience, telling a human story, focusing on the ''knowns,'' and using effective visual communication. Indeed, there is a growing use of visuals to convey climate change, such as photographs, maps, three-dimensional visualizations, infographics, graphs, cartoons, videos, documentary, and fictional films, covering a range of content like human and natural impacts, causes, and actions (Chapman et al. 2016;Cortese 2018;McLoughlin et al. 2018). Moser (2016) draws on existing work to approach this problem from the perceiver's APRIL 2021 perspective, and defines five psychological defenses related to climate change, with guidance on when communication can trigger such responses, and help overcome them. ...
Article
As leaders of civil society, governments have a prime responsibility to communicate climate change information in order to motivate their citizens to mitigate and adapt. This study compares the approaches of the United Kingdom (UK) and Hong Kong (HK) governments. Although different in size and population, the UK and HK have similar climate change agendas to communicate to similarly educated and prosperous populations. The study finds that whilst both governments use similar means: policy, education, campaigns, internet and social media, these have different characteristics, with different emphases in their climate change message. The UK’s top-down approach is more prominent in its legally binding policy and well-defined programmes for adaptation and risk assessment. HK has more effectively embedded climate change education across the school curricula, and has a more centralized and consistently branded campaign, with widespread use of visual language to connect the public to the problem. HK frames climate change as a science-society problem, and has a greater focus on self-responsibility and bottom-up behavioral change. Thus, the UK and HK governments have polarized approaches to motivating their citizens into climate action. Moving forwards, both governments should consider best practice elements of the other to develop their communication of climate change.
... Around the world, the public identifies the iconic polar bear with climate change, but its image provokes cynicism, too (Chapman et al., 2016). Still, it frames the Arctic for discursive and visual consumption, as an environment facing very real climatic change but also a place of fragile beauty worthy of protection (see Doyle, 2007;O'Neill and Smith, 2014;Born, 2019). ...
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The Arctic and its animals figure prominently as icons of climate change in Western imaginaries. Persuasive storytelling centred on compelling animal icons, like the polar bear, is a powerful strategy to frame environmental challenges, mobilizing collective global efforts to resist environmental degradation and species endangerment. The power of the polar bear in Western climate imagery is in part derived from the perceived “environmental sacredness” of the animal that has gained a totem-like status. In dominant “global” discourses, this connotation often works to the detriment of Indigenous peoples, for whom animals signify complex socio-ecological relations and cultural histories. This Perspective article offers a reflexive analysis on the symbolic power of the polar bear totem and the discursive exclusion of Indigenous peoples, informed by attendance during 2015–2017 at annual global climate change negotiations and research during 2016–2018 in Canada’s Nunavut Territory. The polar bear’s totem-like status in Western imaginaries exposes three discursive tensions that infuse climate change perception, activism, representation and Indigenous citizenship. The first tension concerns the global climate crisis, and its perceived threat to ecologically significant or sacred species, contrasted with locally lived realities. The second tension concerns a perceived sacred Arctic that is global, pristine, fragile and “contemplated,” but simultaneously local, hazardous, sustaining and lived. The third tension concerns Indigenization, distorted under a global climate gaze that reimagines the role of Indigenous peoples. Current discursive hegemony over the Arctic serves to place Indigenous peoples in stasis and restricts the space for Arctic Indigenous engagement and voice.
... 27 Despite this assertion, many of the traditional forms of communication that are used by experts to communicate to the public are often based on scientific reports, which can fail to communicate the urgency and importance of this monumental phenomenon to the general public. 4 The aim of our project is to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to contribute to bridging this gap, and to create a tool to raise awareness with regards to the impacts of climate change. ...
Article
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Public awareness and concern about climate change often do not match the magnitude of its threat to humans and our environment. One reason for this disagreement is that it is difficult to mentally simulate the effects of a process as complex as climate change and to have a concrete representation of the impact that our individual actions will have on our own future, especially if the consequences are long term and abstract. To overcome these challenges, we propose to use cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to develop an interactive personalized visualization tool, the AI climate impact visualizer. It will allow a user to enter an address—be it their house, their school, or their workplace—-and it will provide them with an AI-imagined possible visualization of the future of this location in 2050 following the detrimental effects of climate change such as floods, storms, and wildfires. This image will be accompanied by accessible information regarding the science behind climate change, i.e., why extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and what kinds of changes are happening on a local and global scale.
Article
By engaging audience emotions, the creative arts can prompt people to consider societal issues in different ways and hence influence views and behaviours. While audience members bring their unique personal characteristics to the art experience, their emotional responses to art may be shared somewhat. To contribute to understanding audience emotional engagement, this empirical study investigates the emotional responses of viewers to an exhibition of environmental artworks. Q methodology is used with images to evaluate emotional responses to artworks, after the participants have experienced the exhibition. The 25 participants sorted 54 images from their strongest positive to strongest negative emotional responses to the artworks depicted, then described their emotional responses in a semi-structured interview. A wide range of emotions were reported by participants, including multiple and mixed positive and negative emotions to single artworks. Statistical analysis of participants’ Q sorts revealed five groups of participants who shared emotional responses to the artworks. Differences between the groups can be accounted for by the level of participants’ prior experience of contemporary art and by the different ways in which participants perceive negative emotions. Variance within the groups is explained by personal influences contributing to differences in participants’ emotional responses to the artworks.
Preprint
Despite overwhelming scientific consensus concerning the threatening impact of climate change, public understanding on the topic seems to lack depth. Data visualizations play a critical role in both communicating scientific evidence about climate change and in stimulating engagement and action. To investigate how visualizations can be better utilized to communicate the complexities of climate change to different audiences, we conducted interviews with 17 experts in the fields of climate change, data visualization, and science communication, as well as with 6 members of the broader citizenry. We use our findings to derive implications and recommendations for creating more effective visualizations, particularly in news media sources geared toward lay audiences. Implications include the establishment of an iterative, user-centered co-design process, the adaption of contents according to the needs of the audience, and the integration of information and formats which users can relate to. We further discuss the role of storytelling, aesthetics, uncertainty representation, and interactive techniques in the visual communication of climate change.
Chapter
Social movements are dissatisfied with the status quo. That unites them and mobilizes them to the streets. They express dissent and are thus an object of disruptive communication. Environmental movements disagree with political and societal responses to global environmental challenges and demand, for example, more rigorous climate protection. To achieve their goals – motivating supporters and promoting climate change mitigation – they must be covered in mass media to reach out to the public and influence public opinion. However, a fundamental challenge is that most movements are not necessarily represented in mass media. Furthermore, although social movements must be disruptive to some degree, this can also have negative consequences as it may be negatively presented by mass media which hinders public support. In this chapter, we discuss disruptive protest and ponder the question of whether and to what extent artistic activism offers a potential to be disruptive without limiting public support.
Chapter
This chapter investigates the mediated Arctic experience made possible by the BBC’s nature documentary series, Frozen Planet (2011). Extraordinary footage shot by BBCs Natural History Unit, David Attenborough’s on-site narration, and Discovery Channel-facilitated streaming should help raise awareness about the need to manage the world’s remaining resources better than we have thus far. Throughout this expensive production, stunning depictions establish the Arctic as a subject of fascination, skilfully introducing the theme of the endangered Arctic. This chapter explores the connections between aesthetics and politics, touching upon the political-economic implications of this production: Which artistic strategies are involved and to what ends? What kind of climate change narrative does the remarkable adaptations of animals, the close-ups of polar bears and the drone-shot majestic yet desolate landscapes facilitate or hinder? What are the central tropes and facts comprising the film’s narrative, and to what extent are they attuned to the ongoing global displacement of water and ice? This chapter critically explores these questions using the arguments of media, film and cultural studies.
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يعد تغير المناخ أكبر تهديد يواجه البشرية بأكملها، وأحد أكثر القضايا إلحاحًا التي تواجه المجتمعات، ويهدد خطط التنمية والتقدم والصحة؛ بل ويهدد كوكب الأرض بأكمله. غالبًا ما يُوصف تغير المناخ بأنه مشكلة بيئية، ولكن من الأفضل فهمه على أنه مشكلة بشرية؛ إذ أن السلوك البشري مسؤول عن تغير المناخ إلى حد كبير. سيتأثر البشر بهذه التغيرات المناخية، وسيتطلب مواجهتها ضرورة تغيير السلوك البشري. ولا شك أن تغير المناخ يغير عالمنا، وبالتالي سيؤدي بالضرورة إلى تغيير المجتمعات. ولهذا؛ يمثل تغير المناخ حاليًا تهديدًا وجوديًا وجسديًا ونفسيًا. ومن ثم، أصبح تطبيق إجراءات وتدابير التخفيف والتكيف والقيادة الخضراء والحوكمة الرشيدة والتنمية المستدامة والتنمية المتجددة ضرورية بشكل متزايد؛ للحفاظ على رفاهية الفرد والمجتمع وبقاء كوكب الأرض. تم تأليف هذا الكتاب سعيًا مني لتأصيل قضية التغير المناخي وتأثيراته على الانسان من الناحية النفسية من جهة، ولمسح البحوث والدراسات النفسية الحديثة حول مجموعة من الموضوعات ذات الصلة بالتغير المناخي من جهة ثانية. ولإثارة تفكير الباحثين والمختصين في علم النفس بالوطن العربي من أجل إجراء دراسات وبحوث مستقبلية حول كيفية إدراك البشر أو تصوراتهم واستجاباتهم للتغيرات المناخية التي تحدث في العالم من حولهم وتأثير ذلك على الجانب النفسي من جهة ثالثة. وكذلك لوضع إطار إجرائي للخدمات والرعاية النفسية وقت الأزمات والكوارث المناخية، وللمساهمة في تعزيز قيم المواطنة المناخية مع مراعاة حقوق الإنسان وحرياته والعدالة المناخية لجميع المجتمعات والأفراد بمختلف فئاتهم من أجل استدامة الصحة واستدامة البيئة من جهة رابعة. يتكون هذا الكتاب الذي بين أيديكم؛ من تسع فصول.
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As an educational problem, the accelerating loss of biodiversity—one of the planet’s most pressing issues—represents a particularly intriguing challenge. First, although biodiversity loss unfolds around us on a daily basis, many individuals struggle to see, comprehend, and care about it. In addition, educators addressing biodiversity loss must attend to multiple outcomes simultaneously—i.e., students’ emotions, motivation, and behaviors as well as their understanding of key concepts. Focusing on the valuing component of expectancy-value theory, we evaluated the potential of photographs to affect participants’ emotional reactions, valuing of biodiversity, pro-environmental behaviors and content-relevant learning. Through a preliminary, exploratory experiment (N = 399 adults) and a preregistered, confirmatory experiment (N = 1870 secondary school students), we found broadly consistent evidence that strategically selected photographs induced negative emotions, increased participants’ valuing of biodiversity, and motivated pro-environmental behavior. Meanwhile, we saw no evidence of deleterious (or positive) effects on participants’ learning when the photographs accompanied an informational text. We conclude by discussing how costs are conceptualized within expectancy-value theory, as well as the potential of photographs as a useful pedagogical strategy for a range of environmental educators.
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This report summarises up-to-date social science evidence on climate communication for effective public engagement. It presents ten key principles that may inform communication activities. At the heart of them is the following insight: People do not form their attitudes or take action as a result primarily of weighing up expert information and making rational cost-benefit calculations. Instead, climate communication has to connect with people at the level of values and emotions. Two aspects seem to be of special importance: First, climate communication needs to focus more on effectively speaking to people who have up to now not been properly addressed by climate communications, but who are vitally important to build broad public engagement. Second, climate communication has to support a shift from concern to agency, where high levels of climate risk perception turn into pro-climate individual and collective action.
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Nature documentaries often present contradictory images of, on the one hand, a fragile nature that is threatened or already destroyed by humans and, on the other hand, a resilient nature that indifferently survives the human species. Similar ambivalences characterize the public discourse on “nature” in the Anthropocene. From the perspective of cultural and media studies, this essay attempts to disentangle the incoherencies in popular imaginaries of nature by exploring the challenges of narrating and picturing the two opposite qualities of vulnerability and resilience. Tracing the conceptual evolution of documentaries presented by David Attenborough between 1979 and 2020 and their gradual increase in environmentalist rhetoric, I show how different visual motifs undergo a recoding (resilient/fragile) and relate it to paradigm shifts in ecology, earth system science, and environmental protection principles. With an interest in the historical development of multimedia discourses on resilience and vulnerability, I focus on the relationship between visual and verbal representation as well as on the interplay of semantic and aesthetic aspects, while reflecting on whether the observed ambivalences are intentional and how they might influence the perception of the documentaries. This essay is a contribution to Transmedia Ecocriticism and thus situates itself in the Environmental Humanities.
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With the growing awareness about the impact of images in climate change communication, wind turbine images are largely associated with positive and solution-oriented actions. This article questions if this is inherently so. Empiric material from the Norwegian media coverage of land-based wind power plants in 2018 and 2020 suggests that wind power images are transitioning from green icons to more ambiguous and sometimes downright threatening representations. The visual transformation is particularly salient in the growing body of photojournalistic images, as opposed to photographs from commercial sources such as news agencies and wind power companies. In addition, it seems that even the symbolic meaning of wind power icons is transitioning from representing a hopeful “future perfect” to symbolizing nature degradation and political arrogance. These findings generate a call for contextual awareness when it comes to identifying visual meaning, and caution about treating “solution visuals” as ready-made tools for greater climate awareness.
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Media actors, broadly conceived, act as powerful agents shaping not only what we think about, but also how we think about it. Whilst research at the site of news content (e.g. newspaper articles) has proliferated, there is little understanding about the site of news production (i.e. the role that powerful actors play in shaping news content). Here, both news content (via newspaper articles) and news production (via image collections) are examined together to seek to understand how climate protest has been visually represented. This study focuses on the period between 2019 and 2020, a time of significant growth for climate protest through the expansion of movements including Extinction Rebellion and Fridays For Future. Historically, protest is often represented in the media through the ‘protest paradigm’, with protestors depicted as socially deviant. This study sought to examine if this paradigm held true for these most recent protests. Climate protest imagery was collected from a globally-dominant image collection, Getty Images; and from the digital archives of five major UK newspapers. Secondary analysis was also undertaken of a longitudinal visual media datasource featuring three of the same UK newspapers from 2001 to 2009. The study shows that in 2001–2009, climate protest was typically visualised in a way which obscured the human face of protest and was consistent with the protest paradigm. In contrast, in 2019–20, protesters – and particularly school strikers – were depicted in an individualised, powerful, and hopeful way. The dominant face of climate protest in 2019–20 is visually represented in the media as young and female. We conclude that the visual discourse of climate protest has shifted away from the protest paradigm to instead depict climate change as an issue of intergenerational equity.
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Climate change has been documented for over 120 years with increasing scientific rigor, and its impacts are already observable in marine and freshwater fisheries. But after decades of communication to underscore the validity of these changes, and the urgency for action, a large component of the public and many elected officials deny the scientific consensus and reject the need for action. Therefore, we outline a more effective strategy to convey the climate message to stakeholders and inspire them to act.
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The purpose of this paper was to investigate the effect of emotionally connotated photographic material on problem awareness regarding sustainability and sustainable behavioral intentions of mobile phones. In a prestudy (N = 110), photographs related to the ecological and social sustainability of smartphones were tested for their valence and arousal. Photographs with a high arousal level and either positive (positive condition) or negative (negative condition) valence were selected. In the main study (N = 435), these photographs were tested in a three-factorial experimental design. Each photo condition contained one pair of photographs depicting ecological and social sustainability. Results indicate that displaying negatively connotated photographic material leads to a higher awareness regarding the problems associated with smartphones compared to the display of positive photographs and a message only. However, no effect was found for the intention to consider sustainability in future purchase decisions or recycling intentions of mobile phones. The effect of the negative photographs on problem awareness was mediated by the credibility of the information presented. Based on the findings, limitations and practical implications are discussed. Specifically, understanding the effects of different types of photographical material on problem awareness can represent the basis for the successful design of marketing or information campaigns regarding the sustainability of mobile phones.
Chapter
This chapter explores the prevalence of humans as subjects of environmental, and more specifically climate change photojournalism in recent years. As climate communicators have moved from a deficit model of climate communication to a model based on engagement and targeting affective as well as behavioral connection with the issue, photojournalism has taken on a greater role in conveying the urgency of climate change. However, a legacy of using human-free nature photos or devastating catastrophe photos almost exclusively in environmental journalism makes it challenging to move toward a more human-centered model. The chapter invites scholars and photo editors alike to carefully consider the ways that humans can be included and the various implications of their depiction as individuals versus masses, and as victims versus agents of change.
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Climate change poses a major threat to human well-being and will be the root cause of a variety of stressors in coming decades. Psychologists have an important role to play in developing interventions and communication strategies to help people understand and cope with climate change impacts. Through a review of the literature, we identify three guiding insights for strategies to promote adaptive coping and resilience to climate change stress. First, it is unlikely that one single “correct” or “best” way of communicating about adaptive coping with climate change exists, but there are established best practices communicators can follow. Second, in implementing these best practices, practitioners must attend to the impact of variability in the nature of different kinds of stress caused by climate change, as well as individual differences in how people chronically respond to stressors. Third, because individuals, communities, and ecosystems are interconnected, work on adaptive coping to climate change must address individual coping in the context of community and ecosystem resilience. These insights from psychological science can be leveraged to promote human flourishing despite increasing stressors posed by climate change.
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Prevalent in mass media worldwide, climate change imagery appears to be similar across countries. Replicating a study from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, we analyze whether these images are perceived in similar ways cross-nationally by studying Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. A total of 75 respondents sorted images with respect to their perceptions of salience and self-efficacy (Q method). They associated images of climate change impacts most strongly with salience, while they related imagery of renewable energies and mobility to self-efficacy. These findings suggest that perceptions of climate change visuals are largely consistent cross-culturally. They indicate that imagery that is frequently used in media is rarely associated with feelings of salience or self-efficacy.
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Compassion shown towards victims often decreases as the number of individuals in need of aid increases, identifi-ability of the victims decreases, and the proportion of victims helped shrinks. Such compassion fade may hamper individual-level and collective responses to pressing large-scale crises. To date, research on compassion fade has focused on humanitarian challenges; thus, it remains unknown whether and to what extent compassion fade emerges when victims are non-human others. Here we show that compassion fade occurs in the environmental domain, but only among non-environmentalists. These findings suggest that compassion fade may challenge our collective ability and willingness to confront the major environmental problems we face, including climate change. The observed moderation effect of environmental identity further indicates that compassion fade may present a significant psychological barrier to building broad public support for addressing these problems. Our results highlight the importance of bringing findings from the field of judgment and decision making to bear on pressing societal issues.
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Despite being one of the most important societal challenges of the 21st century, public engagement with climate change currently remains low in the United States. Mounting evidence from across the behavioral sciences has found that most people regard climate change as a nonurgent and psychologically distant risk-spatially, temporally, and socially-which has led to deferred public decision making about mitigation and adaptation responses. In this article, we advance five simple but important "best practice" insights from psychological science that can help governments improve public policymaking about climate change. Particularly, instead of a future, distant, global, nonpersonal, and analytical risk that is often framed as an overt loss for society, we argue that policymakers should (a) emphasize climate change as a present, local, and personal risk; (b) facilitate more affective and experiential engagement; (c) leverage relevant social group norms; (d) frame policy solutions in terms of what can be gained from immediate action; and (e) appeal to intrinsically valued long-term environmental goals and outcomes. With practical examples we illustrate how these key psychological principles can be applied to support societal engagement and climate change policymaking.
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Although most experts agree that vaccines do not cause autism, a considerable portion of the American public believes in a link. In an experiment (N = 371), we identified journal-istic balance as a source of misperception about this issue and examined ways to attenuate misperceptions. In particular, by including weight-of-evidence information (i.e., stating that only one view is supported by evidence and a scientific consensus), we explored whether an article can present conflicting views without causing misperceptions. Including weight-of-evidence information fostered more accurate beliefs about an autism–vaccine link, but only for people with favorable pre-existing scientific views. However, this conditional effect disappeared when visual exemplars accompanied weight-of-evidence information. The findings of this study have both theoretical and practical implications for science communication.
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There is currently widespread public misunderstanding about the degree of scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, both in the US as well as internationally. Moreover, previous research has identified important associations between public perceptions of the scientific consensus, belief in climate change and support for climate policy. This paper extends this line of research by advancing and providing experimental evidence for a "gateway belief model" (GBM). Using national data (N = 1104) from a consensus-message experiment, we find that increasing public perceptions of the scientific consensus is significantly and causally associated with an increase in the belief that climate change is happening, human-caused and a worrisome threat. In turn, changes in these key beliefs are predictive of increased support for public action. In short, we find that perceived scientific agreement is an important gateway belief, ultimately influencing public responses to climate change.
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Increasing concerns about the narrowing window for averting dangerous climate change have prompted calls for research into geoengineering, alongside dialogue with the public regarding this as a possible response. We report results of the first public engagement study to explore the ethics and acceptability of stratospheric aerosol technology and a proposed field trial (the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (SPICE) 'pipe and balloon' test bed) of components for an aerosol deployment mechanism. Although almost all of our participants were willing to allow the field trial to proceed, very few were comfortable with using stratospheric aerosols. This Perspective also discusses how these findings were used in a responsible innovation process for the SPICE project initiated by the UK's research councils.
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Prior research has found that affect and affective imagery strongly influence public support for global warming. This article extends this literature by exploring the separate influence of discrete emotions. Utilizing a nationally representative survey in the United States, this study found that discrete emotions were stronger predictors of global warming policy support than cultural worldviews, negative affect, image associations, or sociodemographic variables. In particular, worry, interest, and hope were strongly associated with increased policy support. The results contribute to experiential theories of risk information processing and suggest that discrete emotions play a significant role in public support for climate change policy. Implications for climate change communication are also discussed.
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The deficit-model of science communication assumes increased communication about science issues will move public opinion toward the scientific consensus. However, in the case of climate change, public polarization about the issue has increased in recent years, not diminished. In this study, we draw from theories of motivated reasoning, social identity, and persuasion to examine how science-based messages may increase public polarization on controversial science issues such as climate change. Exposing 240 adults to simulated news stories about possible climate change health impacts on different groups, we found the influence of identification with potential victims was contingent on participants’ political partisanship. This partisanship increased the degree of political polarization on support for climate mitigation policies and resulted in a boomerang effect among Republican participants. Implications for understanding the role of motivated reasoning within the context of science communication are discussed.
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This article answers calls from scholars to attend to a research gap concerning the visual representation of climate change. We present results from three Q-methodology workshops held in Melbourne (Australia), Norwich (UK) and Boulder (USA) investigating engagement with climate change imagery drawn from mass media sources. Participants were provided with a concourse of climate change images drawn from a newspaper content analysis carried out across all three countries, and asked to carry out two Q-sorts: first, for salience (‘this image makes me feel climate change is important’) and second, for efficacy (‘this image makes me feel I can do something about climate change’). We found results remarkably consistent both across and within country cohorts. This may indicate the presence of a dominant, mainstream discourse around climate imagery. We found that imagery of climate impacts promotes feelings of salience, but undermines self-efficacy; that imagery of energy futures imagery promotes self-efficacy; and that images of politicians and celebrities strongly undermine saliency, and undermine self-efficacy for the Australian cohort. These results, if widely replicable, have implications for climate change communication and engagement. Our results suggest that imagery plays a role in either increasing the sense of importance of the issue of climate change (saliency), or in promoting feelings of being able to do something about climate change (efficacy) – but few, if any, images seem to do both. Communications strategies should assess the purpose of their messages, considering these findings regarding salience and efficacy in this study, and choose to employ images accordingly.
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Converging evidence from the behavioural and brain sciences suggests that the human moral judgement system is not well equipped to identify climate change — a complex, large-scale and unintentionally caused phenomenon — as an important moral imperative. As climate change fails to generate strong moral intuitions, it does not motivate an urgent need for action in the way that other moral imperatives do. We review six reasons why climate change poses significant challenges to our moral judgement system and describe six strategies that communicators might use to confront these challenges. Enhancing moral intuitions about climate change may motivate greater support for ameliorative actions and policies.
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Most people think climate change and sustainability are important problems, but too few global citizens engaged in high-greenhouse-gas-emitting behavior are engaged in enough mitigating behavior to stem the increasing flow of greenhouse gases and other environmental problems. Why is that? Structural barriers such as a climate-averse infrastructure are part of the answer, but psychological barriers also impede behavioral choices that would facilitate mitigation, adaptation, and environmental sustainability. Although many individuals are engaged in some ameliorative action, most could do more, but they are hindered by seven categories of psychological barriers, or "dragons of inaction": limited cognition about the problem, ideological worldviews that tend to preclude pro-environmental attitudes and behavior, comparisons with key other people, sunk costs and behavioral momentum, discredence toward experts and authorities, perceived risks of change, and positive but inadequate behavior change. Structural barriers must be removed wherever possible, but this is unlikely to be sufficient. Psychologists must work with other scientists, technical experts, and policymakers to help citizens overcome these psychological barriers.
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The present investigation identifies the key images that British newspapers use to represent climate change risks. In doing so, it widens the scope of the burgeoning literature analysing textual content of climate change media information. This is particularly important given visual information's ability to arouse emotion, and the risk perception literature's increasing focus on the importance of affect in shaping risk perception. From a thematic analysis of newspaper images, three broad themes emerged: the impact of climate change, personification of climate change and representation of climate change in graphical form. In particular, the depiction of climate change as an issue affecting domestic populations rather than just other areas of the world brings the threat closer to home. Challenging the perception that climate change is still a long‐term and future‐orientated threat, visual images concretise the risk by providing viewers with tangible examples of climate change's impact.
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Fear-inducing representations of climate change are widely employed in the public domain. However, there is a lack of clarity in the literature about the impacts that fearful messages in climate change communications have on people's senses of engagement with the issue and associated implications for public engagement strategies. Some literature suggests that using fearful representations of climate change may be counterproductive. The authors explore this assertion in the context of two empirical studies that investigated the role of visual, and iconic, representations of climate change for public engagement respectively. Results demonstrate that although such representations have much potential for attracting people's attention to climate change, fear is generally an ineffective tool for motivating genuine personal engagement. Nonthreatening imagery and icons that link to individuals' everyday emotions and concerns in the context of this macro-environmental issue tend to be the most engaging. Recommendations for constructively engaging individuals with climate change are given.
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Images of melting glaciers have come to dominate the pictorial language of climate change. This paper argues that photographs of melting glaciers engender a representational problem in the communication of climate change as they depict the already seen effects of climate change. Given the dominance of the photograph within Greenpeace campaigns, the paper examines this adherence to visual immediacy by analysing Greenpeace climate change campaign literature since 1994. Identifying five representational phases over the last decade, the analysis shows how a symbolic pictorial language of climate change was being created, and the ways in which risks were communicated as actual rather than potential. Understood retrospectively however, this visualisation calls attention to the problems of communicating environmental issues of a temporal (long term) and unseen nature through a medium of representation which privileges the ‘here and now’.
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How people perceive their role and the responsibilities of others in determining the outcomes of climate change is of great importance for policy-making, adaptation and climate change mitigation. However, for many people, climate change is a remote problem and not one of personal concern.Meaningful visualisations depicting climate change futures could help to bridge the gap between what may seem an abstract concept and everyday experience, making clearer its local and individual relevance. Computer aided visualisation has great potential as a means to interest and engage different groups in society. However, the way in which information is represented affects an individual's interpretation and uptake, and how they see their present choices affecting their future and that of others.The empirical content of this paper summarises the results of an exploratory qualitative study, consisting of 30 semi-structured interviews investigating people's visual conceptions and feelings about climate change. The emphasis of the inquiry is focussed on eliciting people's spontaneous visualisations of climate change and their feelings of involvement with the issue. The insights gained from the described empirical work set the scene for further research, which will employ the use of a range of images and visualisations for evaluation.
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Emerging nanotechnologies pose a new set of challenges for researchers, governments, industries and citizen organizations that aim to develop effective modes of deliberation and risk communication early in the research and development process. These challenges derive from a number of issues including the wide range of materials and devices covered by the term 'nanotechnology', the many different industrial sectors involved, the fact that many areas of nanotechnology are still at a relatively early stage of development, and uncertainty about the environmental, health and safety impacts of nanomaterials. Public surveys have found that people in the United States and Europe currently view the benefits of nanotechnologies as outweighing their risks although, overall, knowledge about nanotechnology remains very low. However, surveys cannot easily uncover the ways that people will interpret and understand the complexities of nanotechnologies (or any other topic about which they know very little) when asked to deliberate about it in more depth, so new approaches to engaging the public are needed. Here, we report the results of the first comparative United States-United Kingdom public engagement experiment. Based upon four concurrent half-day workshops debating energy and health nanotechnologies we find commonalities that were unexpected given the different risk regulatory histories in the two countries. Participants focused on benefits rather than risks and, in general, had a high regard for science and technology. Application context was much more salient than nation as a source of difference, with energy applications viewed in a substantially more positive light than applications in health and human enhancement in both countries. More subtle differences were present in views about the equitable distribution of benefits, corporate and governmental trustworthiness, the risks to realizing benefits, and in consumerist attitudes.
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This study investigated the role of neutral, happy, fearful, and angry facial expressions in enhancing orienting to the direction of eye gaze. Photographs of faces with either direct or averted gaze were presented. A target letter (T or L) appeared unpredictably to the left or the right of the face, either 300 ms or 700 ms after gaze direction changed. Response times were faster in congruent conditions (i.e., when the eyes gazed toward the target) relative to incongruent conditions (when the eyes gazed away from the target letter). Facial expression did influence reaction times, but these effects were qualified by individual differences in self-reported anxiety. High trait-anxious participants showed an enhanced orienting to the eye gaze of faces with fearful expressions relative to all other expressions. In contrast, when the eyes stared straight ahead, trait anxiety was associated with slower responding when the facial expressions depicted anger. Thus, in anxiety-prone people attention is more likely to be held by an expression of anger, whereas attention is guided more potently by fearful facial expressions.
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Most people are caring and will exert great effort to rescue individual victims whose needy plight comes to their attention. These same good people, however, often become numbly indifferent to the plight of individuals who are one of many'' in a much greater problem. Why does this occur? The answer to this question will help us answer a related question that is the topic of this paper: Why, over the past century, have good people repeatedly ignored mass murder and genocide? Every episode of mass murder is unique and raises unique obstacles to intervention. But the repetitiveness of such atrocities, ignored by powerful people and nations, and by the general public, calls for explanations that may reflect some fundamental deficiency in our humanity --- a deficiency that, once identified, might possibly be overcome. One fundamental mechanism that may play a role in many, if not all, episodes of mass-murder neglect involves the capacity to experience \textit{affect}, the positive and negative feelings that combine with reasoned analysis to guide our judgments, decisions, and actions. I shall draw from psychological research to show how the statistics of mass murder or genocide, no matter how large the numbers, fail to convey the true meaning of such atrocities. The reported numbers of deaths represent dry statistics, human beings with the tears dried off,'' that fail to spark emotion or feeling and thus fail to motivate action. Recognizing that we cannot rely only upon our moral feelings to motivate proper action against genocide, we must look to moral argument and international law. The 1948 Genocide Convention was supposed to meet this need, but it has not been effective. It is time to examine this failure in light of the psychological deficiencies described here and design legal and institutional mechanisms that will enforce proper response to genocide and other forms of mass murder.
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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.
Article
Most people are caring and will exert great effort to rescue individual victims whose needy plight comes to their attention. These same good people, however, often become numbly indifferent to the plight of individuals who are "one of many" in a much greater problem. Why does this occur? The answer to this question will help us answer a related question that is the topic of this paper: Why, over the past century, have good people repeatedly ignored mass murder and genocide? Every episode of mass murder is unique and raises unique obstacles to intervention. But the repetitiveness of such atrocities, ignored by powerful people and nations, and by the general public, calls for explanations that may reflect some fundamental deficiency in our humanity - a deficiency that, once identified, might possibly be overcome. One fundamental mechanism that may play a role in many, if not all, episodes of mass-murder neglect involves the capacity to experience affect, the positive and negative feelings that combine with reasoned analysis to guide our judgments, decisions, and actions. I shall draw from psychological research to show how the statistics of mass murder or genocide, no matter how large the numbers, fail to convey the true meaning of such atrocities. The reported numbers of deaths represent dry statistics, "human beings with the tears dried off," that fail to spark emotion or feeling and thus fail to motivate action. Recognizing that we cannot rely only upon our moral feelings to motivate proper action against genocide, we must look to moral argument and international law. The 1948 Genocide Convention was supposed to meet this need, but it has not been effective. It is time to examine this failure in light of the psychological deficiencies described here and design legal and institutional mechanisms that will enforce proper response to genocide and other forms of mass murder.
Article
Studies examining personal experiences of climate change-related events highlight the potential to encourage climate action by framing it as happening now, in your neighborhood, and affecting people like you - that is, psychologically close. We compare this literature to studies that examine psychological distance. The review reveals a disconnect: while studies of personal experience suggest merits of reducing psychological distance, other studies present a more nuanced picture in which psychological proximity does not always lead to more concern about or action on climate change. Despite its emphasis, psychological distance has not been widely studied in experimental work in the climate change context, and there is a need for more systematic examination of its effects across a range of mitigation and adaptation actions. Further, our review identifies potential pitfalls associated with decreasing psychological distance, such as fear and avoidance. Finally, we provide preliminary recommendations for optimal ways to bring climate change "home.".
Book
In this groundbreaking book, Renee Lertzman applies psychoanalytic theory and psychosocial research to the issue of public engagement and public apathy in response to chronic ecological threats. By highlighting unconscious and affective dimensions of contemporary ecological issues, Lertzman deconstructs the idea that there is a gap between what people care about and what is actually carried out in policy and personal practice. In doing so, she presents an innovative way to think about and design engagement practices and policy interventions. Based on key qualitative fieldwork and in-depth interviews conducted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, each chapterprovides a psychosocial, psychoanalytic perspective on subjectivity, affect and identity, and considers what this means for understanding behaviour in relation to environmental crises and climate change. The book argues for a theory of environmental melancholia that accounts for the ways in which people experience profound loss and disruption caused by environmental issues, and yet may have trouble expressing or making sense of such experiences. Environmental Melancholia offers a fresh perspective to the field of environmental psychology that until now has been largely dominated by research in cognitive, behavioural and social psychology. It will appeal to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of psychoanalysis, psychosocial studies and sustainability, as well as policy makers and educators internationally.
Article
Research on frames in climate change (CC) news coverage has advanced substantially over the past decade, but the emerging understanding of the framing role of visual imagery that often accompanies news texts remains fragmented. We report on a set of image frames identified through content analysis of 350 images associated with 200 news articles from 11 US newspaper and magazine sources from 1969 through late 2009. We reliably identified and quantified the occurrence of 118 image themes. We then hierarchically clustered the themes based on their co-occurrence in images to identify an integrated framework of 42 image frames. We highlight frames associated with particular types of images (e.g., photographs and maps) or geographic regions. From among the full set of frames, we identify 15 that commonly appear in US CC news imagery and discuss the ways in which image frames make salient (or render invisible) particular categories of people, geographic regions, aspects of science, and spheres of activity.
Article
Images of climate change and global warming - including tens of thousands of photographs, charts, graphs, cartoons, illustrations, and moving images - have been spread across magazines, television, and films, and are scrolling down the growing array of websites devoted to some aspect of environmental news and climate change. The content of climate imagery falls into several broad categories, and not all of them have been effective in educating people about the dangers and causes of climate change or encouraging civic action and involvement. A new framing of local climate impacts and positive actions may encourage more people to take action. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
Article
There is often a curious distinction between what the scientific community and the general population believe to be true of dire scientific issues, and this skepticism tends to vary markedly across groups. For instance, in the case of climate change, Republicans (conservatives) are especially skeptical of the relevant science, particularly when they are compared with Democrats (liberals). What causes such radical group differences? We suggest, as have previous accounts, that this phenomenon is often motivated. However, the source of this motivation is not necessarily an aversion to the problem, per se, but an aversion to the solutions associated with the problem. This difference in underlying process holds important implications for understanding, predicting, and influencing motivated skepticism. In 4 studies, we tested this solution aversion explanation for why people are often so divided over evidence and why this divide often occurs so saliently across political party lines. Studies 1, 2, and 3-using correlational and experimental methodologies-demonstrated that Republicans' increased skepticism toward environmental sciences may be partly attributable to a conflict between specific ideological values and the most popularly discussed environmental solutions. Study 4 found that, in a different domain (crime), those holding a more liberal ideology (support for gun control) also show skepticism motivated by solution aversion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Negative climate change imagery is often criticised on the grounds that it provokes and promotes disempowering responses and psychological distancing. We investigated people's associations with climate change, and their affective content on multiple dimensions, through two studies. In Study 1, we administered an image-elicitation task to 2502 people across Australia to examine the mental images most commonly associated with climate change. We used these common responses from the image-elicitation task to compile 82 actual images. In Study 2, these images were presented to participants at a series of four workshops (N = 52). Participants selected the images they most closely associated with climate change, rated them for affective content on an emotion circumplex, and later discussed evocative images in small groups. The findings suggest (i) a significant proportion of people struggle to form concrete associations; (ii) common associations are typically psychologically distant and iconographic, but some national-level impacts are also salient; and (iii) associations with climate change impacts differ in their affective content: Specifically, associations related to drought and denuded landscapes provoke lower arousal, whereas associations related to disasters and extremes provoke higher arousal. The importance of considering motivated reasoning and multi-dimensional affect in the psychological distancing of climate change is discussed. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Many actors—including scientists, journalists, artists, and campaigning organizations—create visualizations of climate change. In doing so, they evoke climate change in particular ways, and make the issue meaningful in everyday discourse. While a diversity of climate change imagery exists, particular types of climate imagery appear to have gained dominance, promoting particular ways of knowing about climate change (and marginalizing others). This imagery, and public engagement with this imagery, helps to shape the cultural politics of climate change in important ways. This article critically reviews the nascent research area of the visual representations of climate change, and public engagement with visual imagery. It synthesizes a diverse body of research to explore visual representations and engagement across the news media, NGO communications, advertising, and marketing, climate science, art, and virtual reality systems. The discussion brings together three themes which occur throughout the review: time, truth, and power. The article concludes by suggesting fruitful directions for future research in the visual communication of climate change. WIREs Clim Change 2014, 5:73–87. doi: 10.1002/wcc.249 Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
Article
Images act to draw in audiences through vivid and emotive portrayals, and in doing so, they facilitate both cognitive and affective processing. Yet images are not neutral – they can portray highly ideological messages, and act as normative statements portraying a particular way of viewing the world. Whilst climate imagery proliferates, media analysis of climate to date has focused almost exclusively on textual representations. Here, a two-part study was designed to explore climate change imagery in newspapers. First, a content analysis of visual images attached to online articles about climate change during 2010 from 13 US, UK and Australian newspapers, was undertaken. Analysis of the image concourse (n = 1603) shows broad patterns across all newspapers in the visualization of climate change, and sheds light on how multinational media ownership influences climate imagery portrayals. Second, a frame analysis was undertaken, by examining the composition and tone of particularly salient images in their cultural and political contexts. Together, these analyses indicate that two visual frames are prominent, a ‘contested’ visual frame and a ‘distancing’ visual frame; with Australian newspapers particularly relying on the ‘contested’ visual frame. These visual framings support particular interactions with the issue of climate change whilst marginalizing others, actively shaping the cultural politics of climate change in important ways.
Article
Against an academic and policy backdrop of interest in (and concerns about) the issue, this paper draws on a range of academic writing in various disciplines to explore visual strategies of climate change communication. The geographic scope of the investigation is the United Kingdom, with particular attention to recognizable icons of climate change in UK media and the images used in political campaigns. The paper is in two parts. The first part concentrates on various efforts to put a ‘face’ on the climate change issue, while part two suggests that weather and renewable energy are the dominant alternative motifs. The paper draws a basic distinction between fear-laden representations of climate change and a variety of visual efforts to use so-called inspirational imagery. All of the images reviewed suggest an affirmative answer to the question in the title, there are multiple efforts underway to move beyond polar bears and represent climate change in more creative and meaningful ways. The bigger question addressed is one raised already by photographers as well as academics, i.e. whether documentary photography (rather than particular types of images) is the more fundamental issue. The answer in the paper is that photographs are no different from other visual images in their capacity to draw attention to messages. The challenge is to use visuals creatively, in ways that prompt positive engagement with climate change without enhancing public disengagement and fatalism. Copyright
Article
Why do members of the public disagree - sharply and persistently - about facts on which expert scientists largely agree? We designed a study to test a distinctive explanation: the cultural cognition of scientific consensus. The "cultural cognition of risk" refers to the tendency of individuals to form risk perceptions that are congenial to their values. The study presents both correlational and experimental evidence confirming that cultural cognition shapes individuals' beliefs about the existence of scientific consensus, and the process by which they form such beliefs, relating to climate change, the disposal of nuclear wastes, and the effect of permitting concealed possession of handguns. The implications of this dynamic for science communication and public policy-making are discussed.
Article
A national, representative survey of the U.S. public found that Americans have moderate climate change risk perceptions, strongly support a variety of national and international policies to mitigate climate change, and strongly oppose several carbon tax proposals. Drawing on the theoretical distinction between analytic and experiential decision-making, this study found that American risk perceptions and policy support are strongly influenced by experiential factors, including affect, imagery, and values, and demonstrates that public responses to climate change are influenced by both psychological and socio-cultural factors.
Article
International and national greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals implicitly rely in part on individuals undertaking voluntary emissions reductions through lifestyle decisions. Whilst there is widespread public recognition of climate change as an issue, there are many barriers – cognitive, psychological and social – preventing individuals from enacting lifestyle decarbonisation. More effective climate change communication approaches are needed which allow individuals to engage meaningfully with climate change, thus opening new prospects for lifestyle decarbonisation. This study presents an iconic approach to engagement, tested in the UK context, which allows individuals to approach climate change through their own personal values and experiences. The iconic approach harnesses the emotive and visual power of climate icons with a rigorous scientific analysis of climate impacts under a different climate future. Although some climate icons already exist – for example the Thermohaline Circulation shutdown – these ‘expert-led’ icons fail to effectively engage ‘non-experts’. We demonstrate that the non-expert-led iconic approach helps overcome some of the cognitive and affective barriers that impede action towards lifestyle decarbonisation.
Seeing is believing -a guide to visual storytelling best practicesRes. Media Rep.. . (Available online at) http://www.resource-media.org/wp-content/ uploads
• L Banse
Banse, L., 2013. Seeing is believing -a guide to visual storytelling best practicesRes. Media Rep... (Available online at) http://www.resource-media.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/04/Visual-storytelling-guide.pdf.
Visual messaging and risk communication The Sage Handbook of Risk Communication
• A J King
King, A.J., 2014. Visual messaging and risk communication. In: Cho, H., Reimer, T., McComas, K.A. (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Risk Communication. Sage, Los Angeles, pp. 193–205.
On shooting polar bears: communicating climate change visually, published on Climate Access (www.climateaccess.org) (access blog post