Correlates of belief in climate change: Demographics, ideology and belief systems

Adrian Furnham, Charlotte Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports on two studies that examine correlates of attitudes to climate change (ACC). In the first study, five hundred participants completed five questionnaires and an intelligence test as well as two related measures of ACC. Using correlations and regressions we examined the relationship between ACC and demography (gender, age, education), ideology (political and religious beliefs), intelligence, self-beliefs, Belief in a Just World and the endorsement of Conspiracy Theories. One climate change questionnaire factored into three factors labelled Impact, Fatalism, and Personal action. The most consistent finding was that political opinions were most strongly related to climate change beliefs: more conservative thinkers denied that individuals could do anything. In the second study, also with 500 participants, we asked one question concerning how seriously they took the issue of global warming. Again, we examined the relationship with this response and the participants' demography, ideology and self-ratings. Political beliefs primarily were related to global warming concerns, as in the first study. Results are discussed in terms of climate change as an ideology and the possible changing of these beliefs. Limitations, like the representativeness of the sample and the single-item measure in the second study are acknowledged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103775
JournalActa Psychologica
Volume230
Early online date21 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Beliefs
  • Climate change
  • Conspiracy theories
  • Ideology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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