Analysis of climate change evidence presentations and information formats



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Climate change information is often confusing to understand for the average person, and as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made clear in their recent assessments, citizen responsibility is going to become more important through adaptation and mitigation. Since it is becoming more popular among public concern, a better way to communicate such data for greater public understanding needs to be explored so people can become motivated to take action sooner. This article addresses a gap in research on exemplification effects in climate change messaging by examining the effects of four different information formats on issue perception: visual exemplar, textual exemplar, visual base-rate, and textual base-rate. Results suggest that exemplified message features promote greater worry or concern about the risks of climate change, but not for accuracy, importance, or likelihood of climate change risk perceptions. In particular, the visual exemplar demonstrated a significantly greater impact on worry compared to the base-rate text information format. Implications of these findings for the use of future climate change adaptive messages to mitigate ongoing effects are discussed



Climate Change, Exemplification, Communication, Risk, Experiment