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.
Climate Change, Priming, Framing Effects, Situated Cognition, Motivated Reasoning
Business and Corporate Communications | Environmental Policy | Marketing
Marketing; Corporate Communication
SCHULDT, Jonathon P. and Sungjong ROH.
Of accessibility and applicability: How heat-related primes affect belief in “global warming” and “climate change”. (2014). Social Cognition. 32, (3), 217-238. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/4849
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