Would You Pay to Reduce Climate Change?

by Abigail Schantz

In the article “Actions and intentions to pay for climate change mitigation: Environmental concern and the role of economic factors,” Christian Dienes (2014) studies the correlation between individuals’ concern for the environment and their willingness to pay or act for change, and how these correlations are affected by financial circumstances. Dienes reviewed previous studies and used one survey to analyze his own results. He took the responses from the Life in Transition Survey (2010) by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank. In this survey, which included 35 countries, 37% of respondents expressed intent to pay to reduce climate change and 11% were unsure, but 45% responded that they had the highest concern level (five out of five on the survey) for climate change. This showed a discrepancy between people who are deeply concerned with climate change and those willing to pay for improvements. Dienes took into account other variables such as age and gender in order to minimize bias. Continue reading

Personal Beliefs in Reality of Climate Change

by Yijing Zhang

Teresa A. Myers (2012) suggests that perception processes shape people’s belief in global warming. One perception process is experiential learning, in which one’s experience strengthens his or her belief. The other process model by Myers is motivated reasoning, in which personal experience is significantly influenced by existing belief. According to a survey, cited by Myers, the majority of Americans have a low engagement in global warming issues. Hence, Myers hypnotizes that the motivated reasoning plays a main role in shaping people’s attitude. One hypothesis is that both experiential processing and reasoning motivation affect people’s belief in global warming. The second hypothesis is that people with personal experience engage more with the climate issue than those who do not have the experience. Continue reading

Psychological Effects of Climate Change

by Breanna Sewell

Global climate change adversely affects the Earth and its inhabitants in a multitude of ways. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy areas, although rarely noted, is the range of psychological effects that climate change can have on us. Susan Clayton and Thomas Doherty address this topic in their article “The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change.” The authors first discuss the potential causes of psychological effects that result from climate change. These include media representations of climate change and natural disasters, vulnerability versus resilience of individuals, and social and cognitive factors. Continue reading

The Psychology Behind Climate-Related Inaction

by Emily Segal

Though many people agree that climate change is a pressing issue in today’s world, very few of those people actually change their behavior to remedy this. In some cases there are structural factors limiting their ability to make decisions that would reduce their ecological footprint. For example, people on a low-income budget might not have the extra money to install solar panels. However, for those who are not restricted by structural factors, adaptation to a more sustainable lifestyle is not currently accepted on the scale it must be if those same people are serious about reducing climate change. Psychologist Robert Gifford suggests that there are three main reasons behind this inaction. Ignorance first will hinder people from altering their behavior because they are not aware of the problem at all. Secondly, once one becomes aware of the problem, various psychological processes may prohibit action. Lastly, after some action is taken, the person may think their action establishes they have done their part to reduce climate change when in reality they have not done enough, or they have done something that is counterproductive. To better understand this disconnect between awareness and lack of action, Gifford further divided the three main reasons behind inaction into seven psychological barriers preventing people from doing what they should in order to truly reduce climate change. Continue reading