Who's afraid of Climate Change? News coverage of the COP21 Paris Climate Summit and its effects on pro-environmental behavior

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This study tests the impact of news exposure about the COP21 Paris Climate Summit on pro-environmental behavioral intentions as well as actual behavior and the role of emotions in this process. The present study employs a two-wave panel survey (N=939). Special attention is paid to the role of different discrete emotions, i.e. anger, fear, hope and enthusiasm, with the potential to explain how such effects can come about. Findings indicate that exposure to news about the COP21 UN Paris Climate Summit had an impact on both positive and negative emotions towards the topic. Furthermore, anger, fear, and enthusiasm (but not hope) mediated the effect of news exposure on behavioral intentions. In line with expectations anger also showed to mediate the effect of news exposure on actual behavior.

May 29, 2017 9:30 AM
San Diego
Felicia Loecherbach
Felicia Loecherbach
PhD Student Communication Science

My research interests include understanding news consumption online making use of theories from political communication and journalism. I use computational methods to study digital trace data. Only publishing research and tools open source.