Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-2014

Abstract


Research shows that exposure to heat-related cues (e.g., warm temperatures, “fry” and “boil”) influences the belief that global warming exists and poses a serious threat to humans. Drawing on social-cognitive principles of concept accessibility and applicability, we hypothesized that these effects may depend on how the issue is framed, given that heat-related concepts are more compatible with “global warming” than “climate change.” Exploring this possibility, we asked campus passersby about their belief in global warming or climate change shortly after a real-life unseasonably cold weather event (i.e., snowfall during Spring; Study 1). A controlled Web experiment posed the same questions after participants viewed photographs depicting either unseasonable or seasonable temperatures in their locale (Study 2). Results suggest that priming cold weather decreases belief in “global warming” but not “climate change” among likely climate skeptics (i.e., conservatives, the environmentally unconcerned). Implications for motivated reasoning and the climate debate are discussed.

Keywords

Climate Change, Priming, Framing Effects, Situated Cognition, Motivated Reasoning

Discipline

Business and Corporate Communications | Environmental Policy | Marketing

Research Areas

Marketing; Corporate Communication

Publication

Social Cognition

Volume

32

Issue

3

First Page

217

Last Page

238

ISSN

0278-016X

Identifier

10.1521/soco.2014.32.3.217

Publisher

Guilford Press

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/soco.2014.32.3.217

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