Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science
Environmental and Public Affairs
First Committee Member
Susanna Hornig Priest, Chair
Second Committee Member
Thomas C. Piechota
Third Committee Member
Helen R. Neill
Graduate Faculty Representative
Anthony J. Ferri
Number of Pages
This research examines the complexities of communicating climate change risk information and the underlying individual attitudes and message content that affect message reception. Using climate change messages incorporating fear appeals and normative information subject's reactions to the messages were evaluated using the Theory of Planned Behavior model. The study found that fear appeals did increase behavioral intention to adopt a lower carbon lifestyle among test group subjects. The Theory of Planned Behavior model showed that attitudes and self-efficacy were significant predictors of the behavioral intent to adopt a lower carbon lifestyle, while community norms were only marginally predictive. However, not all attitude measures were predictive, while the personal injunctive community norms measure was. The study also found that pre-existing attitudes towards the environment and conservatism were also good predictors of intent to change behavior. This study suggests that fear appeals can be an effective means of communicating climate change to motivate behavioral change. The study also suggests that the combined approach used in this study allows researchers to understand the interplay of worldviews, news information, and individual attitudes about changing behavior that play an integral part of how the public comes to terms with complex issues.
Climatic changes; Communication in ecology; Global warming; Mass communication
Climate | Communication | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Mass Communication | Politics and Social Change | Psychology | Social Influence and Political Communication
Greenhalgh, Ted, "Assessing a combined theories approach to climate change communication" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1249.
Climate Commons, Demography, Population, and Ecology Commons, Environmental Health and Protection Commons, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment Commons, Mass Communication Commons, Politics and Social Change Commons, Psychology Commons, Social Influence and Political Communication Commons