Understanding and countering the motivated roots of climate change denial

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Jan 08, 2020
Gabrielle Wong-Parodi and Irina Feygina



Action on climate change is currently minimal, and woefully inadequate for steering away from its worst trajectories and impacts. Psychological science offers insights into the causes of climate change denial and reluctance to engage with solutions, and identifies avenues for enhancing climate acceptance and engagement. We review psychological processes that underlie denial, and survey promising directions for fostering support for solutions. We draw largely on studies conducted in the United States, whose population is exceptionally high on climate denial and disengagement, and where the majority of research has focused. However, these approaches provide insight into underlying psychological dynamics that can inform broader efforts to engage audiences with climate change.

Article published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

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