It's political: How the salience of one's political identity changes climate change beliefs and policy support

Kerrie Unsworth, K.S. Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated a striking difference in climate change beliefs and policy support between people who identify with the right-wing of politics and with the left-wing of politics. But are we destined to continue with this divergence? We suggest that there is movement around these differences based on the politicization of climate change and we conducted two experimental studies with 126 and 646 people, respectively, to examine this effect. We found that those people whose political identity was made salient were less likely to believe in an anthropogenic cause of climate change and less likely to support government climate change policies than those whose identity was not made salient; particularly when those people were aligned with the right-wing of politics. The results demonstrate the importance of the salience of one's political identity in determining attitudes and beliefs even for scientific facts such as climate change. Our research also identifies some ways forward in dealing with climate change-based on depoliticizing the issue. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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