The desire to maintain the social order and the right to economic freedom: Two distinct moral pathways to climate change scepticism

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Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. It is well established that climate change scepticism is primarily found among those who identify as right wing. Applications of moral psychology suggest that climate change may not register as an issue of moral concern for those who identify as right wing due to their tendency to prioritise morality in the forms of the maintenance of tradition and order. Other researchers argue that the right wing tendency to be sceptical of climate change is derived from support for the free market, which may be related to the novel moral domain, 'liberty'. In a survey of the Australian public (n=301) climate change scepticism, and moral beliefs were measured. Regression analysis showed that climate change scepticism is not only predicted by morality aimed at maintenance of the social order, but also independently by morality concerned with the right to liberty. Implications for the development of climate change communication are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-47
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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