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Communication

Confidence in Local, National, and International Scientists on Climate Change

1
Department of Political Science and Policy Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC 27244, USA
2
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
3
Department of Political Science, Towson University, Towson, MD 21252, USA
4
Department of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010272
Received: 26 October 2020 / Revised: 17 December 2020 / Accepted: 22 December 2020 / Published: 30 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Cognitive Psychology of Environmental Sustainability)
In many public policy areas, such as climate change, news media reports about scientific research play an important role. In presenting their research, scientists are providing guidance to the public regarding public policy choices. How do people decide which scientists and scientific claims to believe? This is a question we address by drawing on the psychology of persuasion. We propose the hypothesis that people are more likely to believe local scientists than national or international scientists. We test this hypothesis with an experiment embedded in a national Internet survey. Our experiment yielded null findings, showing that people do not discount or ignore research findings on climate change if they come from Europe instead of Washington-based scientists or a leading university in a respondent’s home state. This reinforces evidence that climate change beliefs are relatively stable, based on party affiliation, and not malleable based on the source of the scientific report. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; public opinion; confidence in science; persuasion climate change; public opinion; confidence in science; persuasion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sparks, A.C.; Hodges, H.; Oliver, S.; Smith, E.R.A.N. Confidence in Local, National, and International Scientists on Climate Change. Sustainability 2021, 13, 272. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010272

AMA Style

Sparks AC, Hodges H, Oliver S, Smith ERAN. Confidence in Local, National, and International Scientists on Climate Change. Sustainability. 2021; 13(1):272. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010272

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sparks, Aaron C., Heather Hodges, Sarah Oliver, and Eric R.A.N. Smith. 2021. "Confidence in Local, National, and International Scientists on Climate Change" Sustainability 13, no. 1: 272. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010272

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