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From anger to action: Differential impacts of eco-anxiety, eco-depression, and eco-anger on climate action and wellbeing

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Research documents the experiences of depression and anxiety evoked by climate change, but little attention has been given to frustration and anger, or to untangling the effects of different emotional responses to the climate crisis on human and planetary health. Our Australian national survey data shows that experiencing eco-anger predicted better mental health outcomes, as well as greater engagement in pro-climate activism and personal behaviours. Eco-anxiety and eco-depression were less adaptive, relating to lower wellbeing. Interestingly, those feeling eco-depressed were more likely to report participating in collective climate action, while those feeling eco-anxious were less likely to join the cause. Our findings implicate anger as a key adaptive emotional driver of engagement with the climate crisis, and prompt warnings about the mental health of populations increasingly worried and miserable about climate change.
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The
Journal
of
Climate
Change
and
Health
1
(2021)
100003
Contents
lists
available
at
ScienceDirect
The
Journal
of
Climate
Change
and
Health
j
o
ur
nal
homepa
ge:
www.elsevier.com
From
anger
to
action:
Differential
impacts
of
eco-anxiety,
eco-depression,
and
eco-anger
on
climate
action
and
wellbeing
Samantha
K.
Stanleya,,
Teaghan
L.
Hoggb,
Zoe
Levistona,c,
Iain
Walkera
aResearch
School
of
Psychology,
Australian
National
University,
Australia
bCentre
for
Applied
Psychology,
University
of
Canberra,
Australia
cSchool
of
Arts
and
Humanities,
Edith
Cowan
University,
Australia
i
n
f
o
a
r
t
i
c
l
e
Historique
de
l’article
:
Rec¸
u
le
21
d´
ecembre
2020
Accepté
le
13
janvier
2021
A
b
s
t
r
a
c
t
Research
documents
the
experiences
of
depression
and
anxiety
evoked
by
climate
change,
but
little
atten-
tion
has
been
given
to
frustration
and
anger,
or
to
untangling
the
effects
of
different
emotional
responses
to
the
climate
crisis
on
human
and
planetary
health.
Using
Australian
national
survey
data,
we
found
that
experiencing
eco-anger
predicted
better
mental
health
outcomes,
as
well
as
greater
engagement
in
pro-climate
activism
and
personal
behaviours.
Eco-anxiety
and
eco-depression
were
less
adaptive,
relating
to
lower
wellbeing.
Interestingly,
those
feeling
eco-depressed
were
more
likely
to
report
parti-
cipating
in
collective
climate
action,
while
those
feeling
eco-anxious
were
less
likely
to
join
the
cause.
Our
findings
implicate
anger
as
a
key
adaptive
emotional
driver
of
engagement
with
the
climate
crisis,
and
prompt
warnings
about
the
mental
health
of
populations
increasingly
worried
and
miserable
about
climate
change.
©
2021
L’Auteur(s).
Publi ´
e
par
Elsevier
Masson
SAS.
Cet
article
est
publi ´
e
en
Open
Access
sous
licence
CC
BY-NC-ND
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
1.
Introduction
Climate
change
is
one
of
the
greatest
contemporary
threats
to
human
and
planetary
health.
Maibach
and
colleagues
[1]
argue
that
a
“stable
climate
is
the
most
fundamental
determinant
of
human
health”.
Climate
change
affects
mental
health
by
triggering
emo-
tional
distress
[2],
with
some
individuals
deeply
affected
by
grief,
loss,
and
frustration
[3].
Various
new
terms
to
capture
the
emo-
tional
responses
to
the
climate
crisis
include
‘eco-anxiety’
(anxiety
experienced
in
response
to
the
ecological
crisis
[4])
and
‘solastalgia’
(distress
caused
by
the
painful
‘lived
experience’
of
environmental
destruction
[5]).
Studies
on
these
and
other
emotional
responses
are
becoming
more
common
[6,7];
however,
it
is
unclear
how
the
emotions
evoked
by
the
climate
crisis
relate
to
mental
health
out-
comes,
and
whether
and
how
these
responses
relate
to
action
to
address
climate
change.
An
obvious
distinction
between
the
types
of
emotions
we
expe-
rience
is
between
positive
or
negative
emotions
(i.e.,
feeling
good
versus
feeling
bad).
Previous
research
tends
to
compare
the
effects
Corresponding
author
at:
Research
School
of
Psychology,
Australian
National
University,
Canberra,
2601,
Australia.
Adresses
e-mail
:
samantha.stanley@anu.edu.au
(S.K.
Stanley),
teaghan.hogg@canberra.edu.au
(T.L.
Hogg),
zoe.leviston@anu.edu.au
(Z.
Leviston),
iain.walker@anu.edu.au
(I.
Walker).
of
feeling
positive
or
negative
emotions,
without
differentiating
between
different
kinds
of
positive
and
negative
emotions,
mea-
ning
anger,
anxiety,
and
depression
are
considered
together.
How
pleasant
an
emotion
is
forms
one
dimension
of
affect.
The
other
is
‘activation’:
how
much
an
emotion
energises
or
inhibits
action
[8].
While
all
negative
emotions
are
unpleasant,
their
degree
of
activa-
tion
differs.
This
is
important,
because
less
activating
emotions
lead
to
disengagement
from
a
perceived
threat,
while
more
activating
emotions
predict
behavioural
attempts
to
lessen
the
threat,
either
by
approaching
or
avoiding
the
situation
(i.e.,
by
fight
or
by
flight).
Depression
is
a
deactivating
emotion,
unlikely
to
motivate
action.
In
contrast,
anxiety
is
an
activating
emotion
provoking
avoi-
dance
of
threat
(i.e.,
flight),
and
anger
is
activating
and
associated
with
an
approach
tendency
(i.e.,
fight
[9]).
Without
looking
at
the
separate
effects
of
discrete
negative
emotions,
researchers
overlook
varied
impacts
on
behaviour.
In
the
workplace,
experiencing
anger,
fear,
or
sadness
in
response
to
a
troubling
situation
predicts
dif-
ferent
outcomes:
respectively,
voicing
one’s
discontent,
exiting
the
negative
situation,
or
neglecting
the
situation
such
that
it
does
not
improve
[10].
Because
anxiety
is
often
experienced
at
the
same
time
as
anger,
and
anxiety
inhibits
action,
ignoring
their
co-occurrence
masks
the
strong
positive
association
between
anger
and
collective
action
[11].
In
the
context
of
eco-emotions
and
climate
change,
eco-
depression
should
inhibit
climate
action,
eco-anxiety
should
motivate
active
avoidance,
and
eco-anger
should
promote
climate
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joclim.2021.100003
2667-2782/©
2021
The
Author(s).
Published
by
Elsevier
Masson
SAS.
This
is
an
open
access
article
under
the
CC
BY-NC-ND
license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-
nc-nd/4.0/).
S.K.
Stanley,
T.L.
Hogg,
Z.
Leviston
et
al.
The
Journal
of
Climate
Change
and
Health
1
(2021)
100003
action.
While
no
research
to
date
has
examined
the
association
between
eco-anger
specifically
and
pro-environmental
behaviour,
there
is
(conflicting)
evidence
about
anger
relating
to
pro-climate
policy
support
[12,13].
Nevertheless,
theoretical
grounding
from
social
psychology
suggests
that
eco-anger
may
encourage
engage-
ment
with
solutions
to
climate
change
that
is
distinct
from
other
negative
eco-emotions.
The
predicted
effects
of
different
negative
eco-emotions
on
action
to
preserve
planetary
health
are
clear;
those
with
mental
health
are
less
so.
Climate
change
has
a
debilitating
psychological
toll
[3],
previously
identified
as
a
form
of
grief
[5]
or
anxiety
[6].
Despite
this,
and
despite
the
dearth
of
evidence
to
inform
health
professionals
and
researchers
about
how
eco-emotions
relate
to
mental
health,
communicators
continue
to
use
climate
change
mes-
sages
that
elicit
strong
emotional
reactions.
Although
we
know
that
fear-based
campaigns
have
mixed
effects
on
behaviour
at
best
[14,15],
the
effects
of
chronic
eco-emotional
experiences
on
human
health
are
unknown.
2.
Current
study
We
first
aim
to
confirm
that
our
measures
of
eco-anxiety,
eco-
depression,
and
eco-anger
capture
distinct
emotional
responses
to
climate
change.
We
then
examine
how
negative
eco-emotions
uni-
quely
contribute
to
individuals’
wellbeing
and
engagement
with
climate
change
solutions.
We
use
structural
equation
modelling
to
identify
the
associations
each
eco-emotion
has
with
wellbeing
and
pro-climate
behaviour,
while
simultaneously
controlling
for
the
other
negative
eco-emotions.
We
expect
eco-anxiety
and
eco-
depression
to
be
associated
with
poorer
mental
health
outcomes
[16].
In
the
absence
of
previous
research
on
this
topic,
we
do
not
make
a
directional
prediction
about
the
way
eco-anger
relates
to
mental
health.
Anger
predicts
collective
action
in
social
psycho-
logy
research
[17,18],
therefore
we
expect
eco-anger
to
relate
more
strongly
to
collective
action
on
climate
change
(such
as
protest,
signing
a
petition)
than
to
personal
behaviour
(such
as
recycling,
energy
conservation).
Meanwhile,
we
note
the
potential
for
anxious
or
depressed
emotional
responses
to
be
unrelated
to
action
[6]
or
even
to
predict
disengagement
[11].
3.
Method
3.1.
Participants
and
procedure
We
used
a
subset
of
the
data
from
a
larger
(approximately
25-minutes)
online
survey
of
individuals
living
across
every
state
and
territory
of
Australia,
nationally
representative
on
age,
gen-
der,
and
location
using
quotas
based
on
census
data.
Participants
were
recruited
by
Qualtrics
between
20
August
and
20
Septem-
ber
2020,
receiving
individual
compensation
in
exchange
for
their
participation.
The
Australian
National
University
Human
Research
Ethics
Committee
approved
our
ethics
protocol
(approval
number
2020/429),
and
participants
provided
consent
by
continuing
on
to
the
study
after
reading
an
onscreen
information
sheet.
We
analysed
data
from
only
those
participants
who
selected
“I
think
that
climate
change
is
happening,
and
I
think
that
humans
are
largely
causing
it”
when
asked
what
best
describes
their
thoughts
about
climate
change
(61.0
%
of
the
full
sample).
Those
who
were
unsure
or
denied
climate
change
is
happening
or
human-caused
were
excluded
because
the
cause
of
climate
deniers’
experience
of
the
same
emotions
likely
differs
from
those
accepting
anthropoge-
nic
climate
change.
For
example,
deniers
may
feel
frustrated
about
climate
change
because
they
do
not
believe
it
exists,
while
accep-
ters
may
feel
frustration
at
climate
inaction,
which
is
more
relevant
to
their
pro-climate
behaviours
[19].
The
gender
distribution
of
our
full
sample
(i.e.,
prior
to
removing
deniers)
matched
the
Australian
population
at
the
2016
census
[20]
(50.9
%
versus
50.7
%
female).
Participant
recruitment
ensured
that
our
sample
approximated
the
same
proportion
of
participants
in
each
age
band
reported
in
the
Australian
census,
making
our
final
median
participant
age
46.0
years.
Participants
in
the
subsample
used
for
this
particular
study
skewed
female
(44.2
%
male,
55.5
%
female,
0.3
%
other
or
prefer
not
to
say)
and
were
on
average
44.08
years
old
(SD
=
17.46
years;
median
41.0).
These
deviations
from
the
full
sample,
and
therefore
Australian
population,
are
consistent
with
literature
suggesting
males
and
older
people
are
slightly
more
likely
to
deny
climate
change
than
females
and
younger
people
[21].
Post
hoc
power
analysis
using
semPower
[22]
confirmed
sample
size
was
sufficiently
powered
after
limiting
the
sample
by
exclu-
ding
climate
deniers
(see
Supplementary
Materials
for
details).
3.2.
Measures
See
the
Supplementary
Materials
for
exact
wording
of
our
sur-
vey
items.
3.2.1.
Eco-emotions
Participants
rated
the
extent
climate
change
makes
them
feel
eco-depressed
(depressed,
miserable),
eco-anxious
(anxious,
afraid)
and
eco-angry
(angry,
frustrated)
on
sliding
scales
from
0
(not
at
all
this
way)
to
100
(a
great
deal).
Participants
were
also
asked
which
emotion
they
experience
most
often
in
relation
to
climate
change.
3.2.2.
Mental
health
outcomes
We
used
the
DASS-21
[23]
to
index
experiences
of
depression,
anxiety,
and
stress,
with
seven
items
per
construct.
Participants
rated
the
extent
each
statement
applied
to
them
over
the
past
week
from
0
(did
not
apply
to
me
at
all)
to
3
(applied
to
me
very
much,
or
most
of
the
time).
3.2.3.
Pro-climate
behaviours
Participants
were
asked
how
often
in
the
last
year
they
engaged
in
a
series
of
behaviours
from
0
(never)
to
100
(at
every
oppor-
tunity).
We
analysed
data
from
eight
items
asking
about
personal
behaviours
(e.g.,
recycling/composting),
and
eight
collective
action
behaviours
(e.g.,
protesting).
4.
Results
Data
and
syntax
are
available
on
the
OSF:
https://osf.io/bdwqs/.
4.1.
Experiences
of
eco-emotions
and
correlates
The
means
in
Table
1
show
that
climate
accepters
experience
eco-anger
and
eco-anxiety
at
similar
levels,
while
eco-depression
is
experienced
less
frequently.
Interestingly,
when
asked
which
emotion
they
most
commonly
experienced
in
relation
to
climate
change,
the
most
frequent
response
was
frustration,
a
component
of
eco-anger
(26.7
%
of
responses).
Total
scores
on
the
DASS
subscales
tell
us
that
over
the
past
week,
our
sample
experien-
ced
‘normal’
levels
of
anxiety
and
stress,
however
the
severity
of
depression
approaches
‘mild’.
Mean
behavioural
engagement
levels
indicate
that
participants
perform
personal
behaviours
most
of
the
time;
performing
collective
action
behaviours
is
relatively
rare.
Table
1
also
presents
correlations,
which
show
that
greater
eco-anxiety,
eco-depression,
and
eco-anger
each
similarly
relate
to
increased
severity
of
the
experience
of
depression,
anxiety,
and
stress.
All
eco-emotions
also
predict
an
increase
in
personal
and
collective
pro-climate
behaviours.
However,
experiences
of
each
2
S.K.
Stanley,
T.L.
Hogg,
Z.
Leviston
et
al.
The
Journal
of
Climate
Change
and
Health
1
(2021)
100003
Table
1
Associations
between
eco-emotions
and
correlates.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
1.
Eco-depression
rSB =
.82
2.
Eco-anxiety .74***
rSB =.83
3.
Eco-anger
.68***
.73***
rSB =
.84
4.
Personal
behaviours
.23***
.24***
.30***
=
.84
5.
Collective
action
.39***
.38***
.44***
.40***
=
.89
6.
Depression
.34***
.28***
.19***
.02
.16***
=
.94
7.
Anxiety
.31***
.30***
.17***
.02
.25***
.71***
=
.88
8.
Stress .33***
.33***
.22***
.04 .20***
.79***
.81***
=
.91
Mean
(standard
deviation) 37.75
(28.01)
50.34
(28.46)
55.28
(29.05)
65.75
(18.81)
25.81
(23.76)
4.95
(5.41)
3.33
(4.26)
5.24
(4.96)
Scale
range
0-100
0-100
0-100
0-100
0-100
0-21
0-21
0-21
Note.
***p
<
.001,
**p
<
.01,
*p
<
.05.
Reliability
analyses
are
reported
in
the
diagonal;
Cronbach’s
alpha
()
for
scales
with
3
or
more
items,
Spearman-Browne
coefficient
(rSB)
for
2-item
scales.
Fig.
1.
Standardised
paths
from
a
structural
equation
model
predicting
mental
health
outcomes
from
eco-emotions.
Note.
***p
<
.001, nsp
>
.05,
N
=
3,063,
2(309)
=
3428.11,
Comparative
Fit
Index
(CFI)
=
.95,
Tucker
Lewis
Index
(TLI)
=
.94,
Root
Mean
Square
Error
of
Approximation
(RMSEA)
=
.06
(95
%
CI
[.06,
.06]),
Standardized
Root
Mean
Square
Residual
(SRMR)
=
.03.
emotion
are
also
strongly
positively
related
(i.e.,
the
more
one
experiences
any
of
these
negative
emotions
in
relation
to
climate
change,
the
more
they
experience
the
other
emotions).
We
ran
a
series
of
structural
equation
models
to
disentangle
these
effects.
4.2.
Assessing
the
dimensionality
of
eco-emotions
and
behaviour
We
used
confirmatory
factor
analysis
(CFA)
using
Lavaan
[24]
in
R
to
compare
models
treating
the
negative
emotional
responses
as
a
single
dimension
versus
three
latent
constructs.
These
analyses
(N
=
3,075)
confirmed
the
emotional
experiences
were
distinct,
as
the
three-dimensional
model
fit
better
(2(6)
=
53.52,
CFI
=
1.00,
TLI
=
.99,
RMSEA
=
.05
(95
%
CI
[.04,
.06]),
SRMR
=
.01)
than
the
one-
dimensional
model
(2(9)
=
602.26,
CFI
=
.95,
TLI
=
.92,
RMSEA
=
.15
(95
%
CI
[.14,
.16]),
SRMR
=
.04;
2(3)
=
548.74,
p
<
.001).
The
same
process
confirmed
that
a
model
separating
personal
and
collective
behaviours
provided
relatively
better
fit
to
the
data
(N
=
2,469,
2(103)
=
2436.90,
CFI
=
.87,
TLI
=
.85,
RMSEA
=
.10
(95
%
CI
[.09,
.10]),
SRMR
=
.08)
than
a
one-dimensional
model
(2(104)
=
6806.12,
CFI
=
.63,
TLI
=
.58,
RMSEA
=
.16
(95
%
CI
[.16,
.17]),
SRMR
=
.14;
2(1)
=
4369.22,
p
<
.001).
Model
fit
was
improved
to
an
acceptable
level
by
correlating
two
related
items
(“Joined
a
protest
march”,
and
“Written
a
letter
to
a
member
of
parliament”;
2(102)
=
1921.36,
CFI
=
.90,
TLI
=
.88,
RMSEA
=
.09
(95
%
CI
[.08,
.09]),
SRMR
=
.07).
Factor
loadings
for
both
CFAs
are
presented
in
the
Supplementary
Materials.
4.3.
Mental
health
correlates
of
eco-emotions
Using
structural
equation
modelling
(SEM)
in
R
[24],
we
examined
the
unique
relationships
between
eco-emotions
and
experiences
of
depression,
anxiety,
and
stress
in
participants’
daily
lives.
SEM
estimates
associations
between
the
eco-emotions
(as
‘latent
variables’;
measured
using
two
items
each
as
per
our
mea-
surement
models
above)
and
mental
health
outcomes
(measured
with
seven
items
each).
Importantly,
the
associations
in
SEMs
represent
how
strongly
each
eco-emotion
on
the
left
in
Fig.
1
pre-
dicts
each
mental
health
outcome
on
the
right,
independent
of
each
other
eco-emotion
in
the
model,
so
they
tell
us
how
eco-anger
relates
to
mental
health
while
controlling
for
the
experiences
of
eco-depression
and
eco-anxiety.
As
shown
in
Fig.
1,
eco-depression
predicted
greater
depres-
sion
(strong
effect),
as
well
as
anxiety
and
stress
symptomology
(moderate
effects).
The
more
eco-anxious
individuals
felt,
the
more
they
reported
experiencing
anxiety
and
stress
in
their
daily
lives
(moderate
effects),
with
no
association
with
depression.
These
associations
suggest
that
eco-depression
and
eco-anxiety
may
contribute
to,
or
at
least
co-occur
with,
poorer
mental
health.
Meanwhile,
eco-anger
may
be
a
uniquely
adaptive
response
to
the
climate
crisis,
as
it
related
to
lower
anxiety,
depression,
and
stress
(moderate
effects).
3
S.K.
Stanley,
T.L.
Hogg,
Z.
Leviston
et
al.
The
Journal
of
Climate
Change
and
Health
1
(2021)
100003
Fig.
2.
Standardised
paths
from
a
structural
equation
model
predicting
pro-climate
behaviours
from
climate-related
emotions.
Note.
***p
<
.001,
**p
<
.01,
*p
<
.05, nsp
>
.05,
N
=
2,453,
2(198)
=
2320.76,
CFI
=
.93,
TLI
=
.91,
RMSEA
=
.07
(95
%
CI
[.06,
.07]),
SRMR
=
.06.
4.4.
Associations
between
eco-emotions
and
pro-climate
behaviour
Our
second
SEM,
depicted
in
Fig.
2,
reveals
the
distinct
pattern
of
associations
between
eco-emotions
and
pro-climate
behaviour.
Eco-anger
is
the
only
significant
predictor
of
personal
behaviour,
suggesting
that
more
intense
experiences
of
frustration
and
anger
in
relation
to
climate
change
are
associated
with
greater
attempts
to
take
personal
actions
to
address
the
issue.
Meanwhile,
all
three
climate-related
emotions
predict
collective
action
behaviour,
but
in
different
ways.
Eco-anger
and
eco-depression
relate
to
greater
engagement
in
collective
action,
while
eco-anxiety
predicts
lower
collective
action,
or
disengagement
with
the
pro-climate
move-
ment.
5.
Discussion
We
examined
how
different
negative
emotions
evoked
by
climate
change
each
relate
to
mental
health
and
pro-climate
beha-
viour.
Each
eco-emotion
on
its
own
appeared
to
contribute
to
lower
wellbeing
and
more
pro-climate
behaviours.
Considering
all
three
eco-emotions
together,
though,
changes
this
pattern
of
results.
Loo-
king
at
the
unique
effects
of
each
eco-emotion,
while
holding
the
effects
of
the
other
two
emotions
constant,
reveals
that
eco-anxiety
and
eco-depression
had
negative
effects
on
wellbeing,
but
expe-
riencing
eco-anger
predicted
lower
depression,
anxiety,
and
stress.
We
therefore
contribute
to
knowledge
on
emotional
responses
to
climate
change
by
revealing
the
differential
associations
negative
eco-emotions
have
with
wellbeing
outcomes,
thus
highlighting
the
importance
of
considering
negative
eco-emotions
separately
but
together.
We
are
also
the
first
to
show
that
eco-anger
is
uniquely
associated
with
greater
engagement
in
both
personal
and
collec-
tive
pro-climate
behaviours,
while
eco-depression
and
eco-anxiety
were
unrelated
to
personal
behaviour,
and
eco-anxiety
predicted
lower
engagement
in
collective
action.
Moderate-to-strong
relationships
between
negative
eco-
emotions
and
general
wellbeing
suggest
that
the
way
Australians
feel
about
climate
change
is
intertwined
with
their
everyday
func-
tioning.
This
could
be
due
to
how
well
people
cope
with
the
climate
crisis.
Homburg
and
colleagues
[25,26]
argue
that
expressing
emo-
tions
is
a
particular
form
of
coping
with
environmental
stressors,
and
this
expression
promotes
pro-environmental
behaviour.
Our
results
indicate
that
eco-anger
may
be
a
healthy
and
adaptive
form
of
expressive
coping,
while
eco-depression
and
eco-anxiety
may
instead
be
debilitating.
Homburg
et
al.’s
[26]
measure
of
emotional
expression
contained
a
mix
of
feelings
of
anger
and
depression,
reflecting
a
broader
issue
hampering
research
in
this
area:
negative
eco-emotions
are
regularly
conflated
(e.g.,
Searle
and
Gow’s
[16]
climate
anxiety
scale
includes
emotions
as
diverse
as
anger
and
depression).
Eco-anxiety
should
not
be
studied
as
an
isolated
emotional
experience,
as
it
risks
the
erroneous
conclusion
that
eco-
anxiety
enhances
behavioural
engagement.
We
recommend
that
models
and
measures
of
eco-emotion-driven
action
delineate
the
eco-emotions
to
better
capture
the
different
associations
with
well-
being
and
pro-climate
behaviour.
Our
research
showed
the
utility
of
a
new
6-item
scale
to
measure
three
distinct
eco-emotions,
the-
refore
facilitating
this
future
research.
Our
findings
highlight
that
frustration
and
anger
about
the
cli-
mate
crisis
are
adaptive
responses.
Experiences
of
injustice
or
unfairness
tend
to
provoke
group-based
anger,
motivating
collec-
tive
(and
not
individual)
action
[18].
If
we
think
about
climate
change
as
an
injustice
(e.g.,
generationally,
socially,
and
geographi-
cally),
the
equally
strong
eco-anger–personal
behaviour
association
suggests
that,
in
the
climate
change
context,
the
eco-angry
reco-
gnise
the
importance
of
addressing
their
own
daily
behaviours
as
part
of
the
collective
goal
of
mitigating
climate
change.
Another
interesting
finding
was
that
eco-depression
related
to
greater
engagement
in
collective
action
behaviours.
This
effect
was
unexpected,
though
may
be
explained
by
the
restorative
effects
of
acting.
Eco-depression
had
concerning
associations
with
wellbeing,
with
those
depressed
and
miserable
about
climate
change
expe-
riencing
greater
depression,
anxiety,
and
stress
generally.
Based
on
these
wellbeing
correlates,
we
do
not
suggest
encouraging
eco-
depression
to
motivate
climate
action.
Instead,
our
results
suggest
encouraging
eco-anger
may
promote
positive
pro-climate
beha-
viour
change,
while
preserving
mental
health.
Without
further
work
exploring
the
potentially
causal
nature
of
these
relationships,
our
recommendations
are
tentative.
With
the
causality
caveat
in
mind,
our
findings
contribute
to
continuing
debates
about
how
to
communicate
climate
change.
Some
researchers
argue
that
presenting
a
positive
picture
of
an
alternative
future
motivates
pro-environmental
lifestyle
changes
[27],
while
negative
framing,
which
presumably
evokes
negative
eco-emotions,
provokes
disengagement
[14],
and
may
even
bolster
scepticism
[28].
Conversely,
some
fear
appeals
have
enhanced
pro-
environmental
behaviours
[15,29].
We
suggest
that
fear
appeals
might
work
to
the
extent
they
also
drive
anger,
and
that
tes-
ting
anger
appeals
is
a
useful
direction
for
future
research.
Better
understanding
the
targets
of
eco-anger
whether
anger
is
directed
toward
specific
individuals,
groups,
institutions,
or
something
else
will
guide
the
development
of
anger-based
messaging
that
avoids
inadvertently
fostering
eco-depression.
Our
findings
suggest
that
those
advocating
for
climate
action,
as
well
as
public
communication
and
education
campaigns,
may
be
more
successful
if
they
rely
on
anger-based
messaging.
Meanw-
hile,
messaging
that
makes
people
feel
anxious
or
depressed
about
climate
change
may
be
unsuccessful,
or
potentially
dangerous
for
community
wellbeing.
Similarly,
governments
at
all
levels
must
remain
mindful
that
the
success
of
policies
designed
to
promote
or
inhibit
particular
behaviours
will
depend
partly
on
people’s
emo-
tional
responses
to
those
policies
and
how
they
are
framed.
They
might
do
well
to
remember,
too,
that
governments
are
often
the
target
of
anger
about
(in)action
on
climate
change.
As
our
data
were
cross-sectional,
our
findings
contribute
just
one
piece
to
a
broader
puzzle.
We
recommend
testing
the
repli-
cability
of
these
associations
using
longitudinal
and
experimental
research
to
better
understand
how
the
eco-emotions
causally
relate
to
each
other,
and
to
wellbeing
and
behavioural
outcomes.
For
ins-
tance,
it
is
possible
that
engaging
in
pro-climate
behaviours
evokes
certain
emotions
about
climate
change,
rather
than
the
reverse
direction,
or
that
those
experiencing
poorer
mental
health
have
4
S.K.
Stanley,
T.L.
Hogg,
Z.
Leviston
et
al.
The
Journal
of
Climate
Change
and
Health
1
(2021)
100003
more
negative
reactions
to
climate
change.
What
is
clear
from
our
research
is
that
mental
health
and
reactions
to
climate
change
are
inextricably
linked,
and
health
professionals
and
climate
change
communicators
alike
must
be
mindful
of
this.
6.
Conclusions
We
show
that
eco-anger
co-occurs
with
eco-depression
and
eco-anxiety,
and
each
eco-emotion
has
a
unique
role
in
(de)motivating
collective
action
behaviour.
Our
research
suggests
eco-anger
may
be
uniquely
protective
of
both
the
environment
and
personal
wellbeing,
and
that
ignoring
the
overlap
between
the
eco-emotions
could
lead
to
the
conclusion
that
eco-anxiety
and
eco-depression
are
similarly
potent.
Our
research
forges
a
path
for
future
research
on
what
makes
people
angry
about
the
climate
cri-
sis,
how
to
foster
eco-anger
without
simultaneously
inducing
other
negative
eco-emotions,
and
how
to
harness
eco-anger
to
drive
pro-
climate
action
for
the
benefit
of
human
and
planetary
health.
Declaration
of
Competing
Interest
The
authors
declare
that
they
have
no
known
competing
finan-
cial
interests
or
personal
relationships
that
could
have
appeared
to
influence
the
work
reported
in
this
paper.
Acknowledgement
Data
collection
for
this
project
was
supported
by
funds
awarded
to
Professor
Iain
Walker
from
the
Research
School
of
Psychology
at
the
Australian
National
University,
Australia.
Appendix
A.
Supplementary
data
Supplementary
material
related
to
this
article
can
be
found,
in
the
online
version,
at
doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/
j.joclim.2021.100003.
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5
... Similarly for the Pacific context, Perez [4] has emphasised the need to examine how Pacific Islanders articulate and express feeling as they register the impacts of and life within the Anthropocene. The emotional, mental, and psychological burdens induced by rapid and unprecedented changes and the related sense of unease about our futures are already being documented across the globe [9][10][11], albeit more attention in scholarly studies and scientific debate is needed in this area [12]. These "negative" emotions and diverse manifestations of grief are widespread, profound, and cumulative [13], and need to be expressed, engaged with, and discussed more openly to better reflect the experiences of people around the globe, and to initiate conversations about how emotions may be used for transformative change and effective politics [8,12,[14][15][16][17][18]. ...
... There has also been little investigation of the emotional effects of climateinduced migration in SIDS, which is likely to be a highly stressful experience, especially when forced, and especially among Pacific Islanders who have deep connections to land as a foundation of culture and identity [48]. In Australia, Stanley et al. [10] also found that frustration and anger, compared to eco-anxiety and eco-depression, predicted better mental health outcomes as a greater engagement in pro-climate activism and personal behaviours. ...
... For Australian participants, there was a strong sense of anger directed at those in power who they perceived to have more control but implemented little action, making anger elicited by appraisal of others' (e.g., Australian leaders) norm violations a prominent emotion [20,67]. Although for some Australian participants, anger and anxiety was a motivating factor for pro-environmental behaviour [10,46,68], others felt a sense of helplessness and hopelessness and lack of motivation to adapt behaviour. Research has shown that for worry to lead to adaptive behaviour, people need to perceive the situation as at least somewhat controllable [12,69]. ...
Article
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As human activities have destabilised life on Earth, a new geological era is upon us. While there is a myriad of challenges that have emerged because of such human-driven planetary changes, one area of investigation that requires ongoing scholarly attention and scientific debate is the emotions of the Anthropocene. The emotional, mental, and psychological burdens induced by rapid and unprecedented change must be understood to better reflect the experiences of people around the globe and to initiate conversations about how emotions may be used for transformative change and effective politics. This paper aims to provide insights into the types of emotions that are emerging in Oceania as the Anthropocene unfolds. To do this, we draw on several data sets: questionnaire results with visitors of Mt Barney Lodge in the World Heritage Gondwana area in Queensland, Australia; another questionnaire with Pacific Island “experts” engaged in climate change, development, and disaster risk management work; interviews with locals living in the Cook Islands; and various spoken, written, and visual art from the Pacific. Bringing these data sets together allows us to explore a diversity of experiences, perspectives, and emotional responses to the Anthropocene from participants across Oceania. We found that acute and slow-onset weather events, experiences of direct loss and change, a perceived lack of agency or control over futures, and a sense of injustice triggered emotions including fear, stress, anxiety, exhaustion, sadness, grief, anger, frustration, helplessness, worry, but also empowerment. These results are critical for the first step of acknowledging and naming the emotions that are emerging in Oceania, such that they can then be worked through, and may be used for transformative change, effective politics, and agency over futures.
... Previous studies have found that participants who reported higher levels of CCD also reported higher levels of PEB. For instance, participants who worried more about climate change were also more likely to support climate change policies (Bouman et al., 2020), and participants who reported higher levels of anger were more likely to engage in pro-climate activism (Stanley et al., 2021). On the other hand, Moser and Dilling (2004) found that using a fear-inducing framing of climate change as a motivating force can lead to inactivity and apathy when the problem is perceived as overwhelming. ...
... Like CCD, PEB was high in both paradigms. Our results replicate previous findings on a positive association between CCD and PEB (e.g., Bouman et al., 2020;Brosch, 2021;Stanley et al., 2021). Our findings further call into question the theory of ecoparalysis (Albrecht, 2011), which posits that when people feel overwhelmed by negative emotions about climate change and its aftermath, they lose the ability to meaningfully cope with and mitigate climate change. ...
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The negative impact of climate change on mental health has gained increased attention in recent years, with studies documenting elevated rates of mental disorders in areas affected by natural disasters. At the same time, anxiety or distress over climate change have been described as natural responses to an existential threat that is not per se pathological. Climate change distress (CCD) may even be a motivating force for pro-environmental behavior (PEB) and ultimately help mitigate the effects of climate change. In the present study, we tested a number or pre-registered hypotheses (https://osf.io/jqb58) on the association between CCD and PEB in an online sample of 550 German-speaking participants. We assessed PEB at a behavioral level using a modified work-for-environmental-protection-task and a modified dictator game, and measured CCD and climate change-associated impairment (CCI) via self-report. Additionally, we investigated participant age and gender as moderators of the CCD-PEB association (data and code available at https://osf.io/eprdw/). In a series of regression analyses, we observed that CCD was linearly associated with a higher level of PEB in both paradigms, such that individuals who were more distressed were more likely to complete a working memory task to generate donations or sacrifice their own payoff in the dictator game to donate to environmental protection organizations. As predicted, younger individuals and women (vs. men) experienced higher levels of both CCD and CCI. Contrary to hypotheses, age and gender did not moderate the CCD-PEB association. We discuss the high prevalence of CCD in the sample and lay out directions for future work to assess avenues for increasing PEB whilst protecting climate-related mental health.
... A current qualitative study (Marczak et al., 2022) shows that the emotional landscape concerning climate change is not limited to categories like, e.g., "anger, " but rather includes various specific emotions such as exasperation, irritation, frustration, impatience, annoyance, disgust, anger, and rage, as these are related to a perceived lack of commitment to climate action (these are only the emotions in the area of "anger"). A quantitative study (Stanley et al., 2021) confirmed that feeling each of three common climate emotions, fear, anger, and sadness, was a strong predictor of also experiencing the other two and hence the role of emotions under realistic conditions and not just in isolation from other emotions should be investigated. In line with this, Chapman et al. (2017) criticized the current research for overemphasizing the role of single emotions and, as a result, more studies investigated emotional profiles instead of single emotions in the context of the environment. ...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of climate change lead to increasing social injustice and hence justice is intrinsically linked to a socio-ecological transformation. In this study, we investigate whether justice sensitivity motivates pro-environmental intention (PEI) and behavior (PEB) and, if so, to what extent emotions and moral disengagement determine this process. For this purpose, we conducted two quota-sampling surveys (Study 1: N = 174, Study 2: N = 880). Multiple regression analyses in both studies suggest that a higher perception of injustice from a perpetrator’s, beneficiary’s, and observer’s perspective is associated with an increased PEI. However, moral disengagement best predicted PEB and PEI. Guilt and authentic pride were found to be emotional predictors of PEI. Additionally, mediation analyses demonstrated that guilt mediates the connection between both perpetrator and beneficiary sensitivity and PEI. These results suggest that when the predominant originators of climate change (i.e., individuals from industrialized countries) perceive global climate injustice from the perspective of a beneficiary or a perpetrator, they experience guilt and have a higher PEI. Based on this mechanism, it seems promising to render global injustice more salient to those responsible for activities that lead to climate change to motivate them to adapt their behavior. The role of moral disengagement and victim sensitivity as barriers to pro-environmental behavior is discussed in this context.
... Surveys have also been used to describe and advance understanding of climate emotions within specific populations, most commonly implemented at the national level (Leviston et al., 2014;Smith and Leiserowitz, 2014;Minor et al., 2019;SITRA, 2019;Leiserowitz et al., 2021a). Studies employing survey methods often also include an analytical dimension examining associations between climate emotions and endpoints such as climate action (Bouman et al., 2020), communication (Brosch, 2021), or health (Stanley et al., 2021). Specific climate emotions that, to date, are most commonly reported in existing literature include worry, frustration, anger, sadness, helplessness, and hopefulness (Clayton et al., 2017;Hickman et al., 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
The mental and emotional dimensions of climate change are increasingly concerning as extreme events become more frequent and severe, ecosystem destruction advances, and people become more aware of climate impacts and injustices. Research on climate emotions has rapidly advanced over the last decade with growing evidence illustrating that climate emotions can impact health, shape climate action, and ought to be considered in climate change communication, education, and engagement. This paper explores, describes, and discusses climate emotions in the context of Canada’s Provincial North: a vast region characterized by a vulnerability to climate change, remoteness, political marginalization, diverse Indigenous populations, and economies/livelihoods tied to resource extraction. Using postal survey data collected in two Provincial North communities (Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Prince George, British Columbia; N = 627), we aim to (1) describe climate emotions experienced in the context of Canada’s Provincial North, including relationships among specific emotions; and (2) examine if socio-demographic variables (gender, age, and parenthood) show a relationship with climate emotions. Results show high levels of emotional response to climate change overall, with worry and frustration as those emotions reported by the highest percentage of participants. We also find significant difference in climate emotions between men and women. A methodological result was noted in the usefulness of the Climate Emotion Scale (CES), which showed high reliability and high inter-item correlation. A notable limitation of our data is its’ underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples. The findings contribute to a greater understanding of climate emotions with relevance to similar settings characterized by marginalization, vulnerability to climate change, urban islands within vast rural and remote landscapes, and economies and social identities tied to resource extraction. We discuss our findings in relation to the literature and outline future research directions and implications.
... Indeed, some researchers have argued that climate change anxiety is necessary for motivating individual and collective action to address environmental challenges (Budziszewska & Jonsson, 2021;Cunsolo et al., 2020). While the causal relationship between climate change anxiety and pro-environmental behavior is contested (Stanley et al., 2021;Verplanken et al., 2020), these concerns are worth considering, and at the very least, demonstrate that there may be tension between different needs. Moreover, there may sometimes be a mutually reinforcing relationship between needs (e.g., group cohesion increasing individual psychological well-being; Jetten et al., 2012). ...
Article
Climate change anxiety is a growing problem for individual well-being the world over. However, psychological interventions to address climate change anxiety may have unintended effects on outcomes other than individual well-being, such as group cohesion and pro-environmental behavior. In order to address these complexities, we outline a multiple needs framework of climate change anxiety interventions, which can be used to analyze interventions in terms of their effects on individual, social, and environmental outcomes. We use this framework to contextualize a systematic review of the literature detailing the effects of climate change anxiety interventions. This analysis identifies interventions centered around problem-focused action, emotion management, and enhancing social connections as those which have beneficial effects on the widest range of outcomes. It also identifies interventions that may have detrimental effects on one or more outcomes. We identify gaps where more research is required, including research that assesses the effects of climate change anxiety interventions on individual, social, and environmental outcomes in concert. An interactive website summarizes these insights and presents the results of the systematic review in a way that is, accessible to a range of stakeholders. The multiple needs framework provides a way to conceptualize the effectiveness of climate change anxiety interventions beyond their impact on individual well-being, contributing to a more holistic understanding of the effects of this global phenomenon. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Moreover, climate change-induced weather events also affect mental health, particularly for low-income populations, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, substance abuse, and depression [25][26][27]. Children, adolescents, and young people, especially girls, carry a substantive burden, as they are more susceptible to experiencing PTSD, eco-anxiety, and depression with lifelong impacts following a climate-related disaster or in response to political inaction to climate change [6,28,29]. ...
Article
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Climate change is a multidimensional issue that affects all aspects of society, including public health and human rights. Climate change is already severely impacting people’s health and threatening people’s guaranteed fundamental rights, including those to life, health, self-determination, and education, among others. Across geographical regions, population groups and communities who are already marginalized due to age, gender, ethnicity, income, and other socioeconomic factors, are those who are disproportionately affected by climate impacts despite having contributed the least to global emissions. Although scholars have been calling for a human rights-based approach and a health perspective to climate action, the literature looking at this multidisciplinary intersection is still nascent, and governments have yet to implement such intersectoral policies. This commentary begins to reflect on the relationship between climate change, human rights, and public health from the perspective of young people engaged in climate action and discourse at the national and international levels. It presents a way forward on what we, as youth climate advocates and researchers, believe is a priority to bring intersectoral integration of human rights and public health approaches to climate change to fruition. First, scholars and practitioners should examine and support youth-led climate interventions that tackle human rights and public health violations incurred by the climate crisis. Second, participatory approaches to climate change must be designed by working synergistically with climate-vulnerable groups, including children and young people, practitioners and scholars in public health and human rights sectors to holistically address the social, health, and environmental impacts of the climate crisis and root causes of injustice. Finally, we recommend more holistic data collection to better inform evidence-based climate policies that operationalize human rights and public health co-benefits.
Article
Background The current and future harms caused by climate change are highly distressing. Different theoretical models suggest diverse impacts of distress on behavior. We examined how psychological distress, climate change distress, and social norms may foster or impede climate change activism. Methods As part of an ongoing online longitudinal study in the US beginning in March 2020, respondents were assessed on their depressive symptoms (CES-D 10), climate change distress, climate change mitigation social norms, and six outcomes of the climate change activism behaviors of writing letters, e-mailing, or phoning government officials; voting for candidates who support measures to reduce climate change; signing petitions; volunteering with organizations; donating money to organizations; attending protests. Results Of the 775 respondents, 53% were female, 72% white, 12% Black, 7% Hispanic, and 6% Asian. Climate change social norms predicted all six climate change actions in the bivariate and multivariable cross-sectional logistic regression models. A similar finding was observed with the brief climate change distress scale, except it was not associated with volunteering in the multivariable model. Depressive symptoms were associated with greater odds of contacting government officials and signing petitions in the bivariate models but did not retain significance in the multivariable models. Longitudinal models indicated a weak association between depressive symptoms and climate change activism. Conclusions Climate change distress and social norms are positively associated with climate change activism. Although climate change distress may not impede climate change activism, organizations addressing climate change should consider providing social support to members and assisting those with high levels of psychological and climate change distress. Social norms around climate change activism should be fostered.
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Objective: This research aimed to adapt the Eco-Anxiety Scale to Turkish and conduct a validity and reliability study. Methods: The sample of this study consists of 698 individuals living in Turkey and participating in the study on a voluntary basis. The data of the research was collected online using the “Personal Information Form” and the “Eco-Anxiety Scale.” In line with the data obtained, Cronbach’s alpha value was examined to test the internal consistency of the scale, and exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used for construct validity. Results: The original form of the Eco-Anxiety Scale is a 4-point Likert type consisting of 13 items and 4 dimensions, and it preserves its original structure in this study. Cronbach’s alpha value for the total scale was 0.91; it was 0.83 for the “affective symptoms,” 0.86 for the “behavioral symptoms,” 0.84 for the “rumination,” and 0.84 for the “anxiety about personal impact.” According to the results of the confirmatory factor analysis applied to test the construct validity (CFI=0.97, NFI=0.96, RSMEA=0.06, and GFI=0.96), the goodness of fit of the 4-factor structure was found to be at an acceptable level and satisfactory. The correlation results in this model regarding the relationship of the subscales with each other show that all of the subscales are positively and significantly correlated with each other (P < .01). Conclusion: In this study, it was determined that the Eco-Anxiety Scale, which was adapted into Turkish, is a valid and reliable measurement tool for measuring the eco-anxiety levels of individuals. Keywords: Eco-anxiety, climate anxiety, environmental degradation, climate change, global warming
Article
Emotional engagement with climate change has been identified as an important research agenda. Recent studies have suggested parental worry for children and future generations are motives for climate activism, highlighting both personal and social justice concerns. A global parent-led climate justice movement specifically articulating this has emerged, yet currently remains under-researched. At the same time, social movement research has tended to overlook the social embeddedness of activism. To address these gaps in knowledge, this study used a qualitative mix of diary entries and interviews of UK-based mothers and fathers to investigate the overlapping emotional spaces of climate activism and parenting. It found that a parental lens on climate, informed by dystopian imaginings and processes of responsibilisation amplified fear and risk-related feelings, but were managed by channelling energy into a diverse array of collective action spaces. This led to positive emotions of hope and solidarity which were fostered and circulated within close personal relationships. In addition, the study found times and spaces which put a strain on affective engagement, and on partner relationships. The paper discusses the lack of moral anger in this sample of climate activists compared to previous research, and calls for further enquiry into the movement's development of intergenerational justice grievances.
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It is well-known that the climatic impacts affect women and men differently. However, more empirical evidence illustrating how, where, when and who are needed to help address gendered vulnerability. Specifically, research investigating the connections between mental health, wellbeing, and climate change can foster responses to avert, minimise and address loss and damage impacts on vulnerable populations. Few studies explore climate-induced mental health impacts, although this is a crucial area for the conceptual framing of non-economic loss and damage. Declining mental health and wellbeing is at the core of non-economic losses taking place all over the world. The existing literature body recognises the disproportionate environmental impacts on women, this study explores non-economic loss related to mental health and wellbeing for women in the Global South. The article uses empirical storytelling and narratives gathered through field work conducted in Bangladesh, Fiji and Vanuatu. The research findings described how climate change risks and extreme weather events negatively impacts women’s mental health and wellbeing, while providing proactive recommendations to address the gendered mental health consequences of climate change.
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A stable climate is the most fundamental determinant of human health. Therefore, the goal of the Paris Agreement—limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius—is arguably humanity's most important public health goal. To accomplish this goal, nearly all nations must greatly increase the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions at the upcoming United Nations COP26 meeting in 2021. We argue that health professionals and health organizations can and must join the growing global community of science-based advocates working to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement. Doing so can be our greatest contribution to the health and wellbeing of all people, especially the world's most vulnerable, marginalized and disempowered people who tend to be harmed first and worst.
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Eco-anxiety and climate anxiety are widely discussed in contemporary media and are subjects of growing research interest. However, there is a lack of research about the definitions and variations of these phenomena. This article analyzes various views of eco-anxiety from a wide range of disciplines. Insights from various anxiety theories are used to discuss empirical studies about forms of eco-anxiety. The article points out that uncertainty, unpredictability, and uncontrollability seem to be important factors in eco-anxiety. Most forms of eco-anxiety appear to be non-clinical, but cases of "pathological" eco-anxiety are also discussed. Other relevant terms and phenomena are scrutinized, such as ecological grief, solastalgia, and ecological trauma. The relationship between studies on eco-anxiety and research about ecological emotions and affect is probed. Eco-anxiety is found to be closely connected to fear and worry, but several disciplines include discussion of its character as existential anxiety. Psychosocial and sociological perspectives point out that social dynamics shape forms of eco-anxiety in profound ways. While paralyzing forms of eco-anxiety emerge as a problem, it is noted that eco-anxiety manifests itself also as "practical anxiety", which leads to gathering of new information and reassessment of behavior options. This variety of forms of eco-anxiety should be taken into account in healthcare and public discussion.
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One of the most important issues in structural equation modeling concerns testing model fit. We propose to retain the likelihood ratio test in combination with decision criteria that increase with sample size. Specifically, rooted in Neyman-Pearson hypothesis testing, we advocate balancing α- and β-error risks. This strategy has a number of desirable consequences and addresses several objections that have been raised against the likelihood ratio test in model evaluation. First, balancing error risks avoids logical problems with Fisher-type hypotheses tests when predicting the null hypothesis (i.e., model fit). Second, both types of statistical decision errors are controlled. Third, larger samples are encouraged (rather than penalized) because both error risks diminish as the sample size increases. Finally, the strategy addresses the concern that structural equation models cannot necessarily be expected to provide an exact description of real-world phenomena.
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Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a vast field and widely used by many applied researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. Over the years, many software pack-ages for structural equation modeling have been developed, both free and commercial. However, perhaps the best state-of-the-art software packages in this field are still closed-source and/or commercial. The R package lavaan has been developed to provide applied researchers, teachers, and statisticians, a free, fully open-source, but commercial-quality package for latent variable modeling. This paper explains the aims behind the develop-ment of the package, gives an overview of its most important features, and provides some examples to illustrate how lavaan works in practice.
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There is increasing attention to the negative emotional responses associated with awareness of climate change. We present three studies developing a scale of climate change anxiety. In Study 1, the scale was developed and validated in an MTurk sample of 197. Exploratory factor analysis of our item pool revealed a four-factor structure, with cognitive-emotional impairment, functional impairment, behavioral engagement, and experience emerging as unique factors. Cognitive-emotional impairment and functional impairment were considered to constitute subscales for climate change anxiety; along with behavioral engagement, they were all related to experience as well as to negative emotions. Neither climate change anxiety nor general depression and anxiety were related to behavioral engagement. Study 2 replicated the factor structure as well as the pattern of correlations in a second MTurk sample of 199. Study 3 examined the relationship between climate change anxiety and adaptation responses in a sample of 217, and tested whether climate change anxiety scores would be affected by the framing of a climate change message. Overall, results suggest that climate change anxiety is not uncommon, especially among younger adults; that worry can be differentiated from a more serious impact on one's life; and that climate change anxiety is correlated with emotional but not behavioral responses to climate change.
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A situated and socially engaged science of loss arising from climate change takes people’s lived experiences with risk and harm as its fundamental starting point. It foregrounds what losses occur, where and how, which of these losses matter most to people and why, and whether or not such losses are considered acceptable and potentially reversible. However, obtaining such insight is difficult if the many things people value, across space and time, are intangible, i.e. they cannot and perhaps should not be quantified, and hence are often overlooked and omitted. This is the case, for instance, for the symbolic and affective dimensions of culture and place, such as sense of belonging, personal and collective notions of identity, and ways of knowing and making sense of the world, all of which are already undermined by climate change. Here, we perform the first systematic comparative analysis of people-centered and place-specific experiences with climate-related harm to people’s values that are largely intangible and non-commensurable. We draw upon >100 published case studies from around the world to make visible and concrete what matters most to people and what is at stake in the context of climate-related hazards and impacts. We show that the same threats can produce vastly different outcomes, ranging from reversible damages to irreversible losses and anticipated future risks, across numerous value dimensions, for indigenous and non-indigenous families, communities, and countries at all levels of development. Through this analysis, we also empirically validate dimensions of harm that have been produced and reproduced in the literature, albeit often devoid of distinct substance, lived experiences, and intrinsic significance. We end by discussing ethical implications of the ‘one thousand ways’ to encounter harm and offer recommendations to overcome methodological challenges in advancing a science of loss grounded in place.
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Recent growth in the number of studies examining belief in climate change is a positive development, but presents an ironic challenge in that it can be difficult for academics, practitioners and policy makers to keep pace. As a response to this challenge, we report on a meta-analysis of the correlates of belief in climate change. Twenty-seven variables were examined by synthesizing 25 polls and 171 academic studies across 56 nations. Two broad conclusions emerged. First, many intuitively appealing variables (such as education, sex, subjective knowledge, and experience of extreme weather events) were overshadowed in predictive power by values, ideologies, worldviews and political orientation. Second, climate change beliefs have only a small to moderate effect on the extent to which people are willing to act in climate-friendly ways. Implications for converting sceptics to the climate change cause-and for converting believers' intentions into action-are discussed.
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What role, if any, do incidental emotions play in people's beliefs about climate change and support for climate mitigation policies? This question has received surprisingly little attention, despite a growing recognition that reactions to climate change information are shaped by various contextual factors beyond the information itself. Drawing on recent perspectives in psychology and communication, we conducted an experiment (N=719) in which participants were randomly assigned to one of two emotion-induction treatments (guilt or anger) or to a no-emotion (neutral) control condition immediately before reading a news story about negative climate impacts and reporting on related policy preferences (e.g., support for taxing carbon polluters). Results revealed a number of significant effects, some of which emerged for the sample overall (e.g., guilt increased support for particular climate mitigation policies) and some that depended on personal and message factors suggested by prior research (e.g., political affiliation and social distance). Overall, these findings suggest that emotions may play an important role in guiding how the public processes and reacts to information about climate change.
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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.