The psychology of climate change: Why people deny the evidence

Nicole Mortillaro, CBC News
12/02/18

Earth's climate is rapidly changing as a result of human activity. So how is it that some people are still reluctant to acknowledge it? According to some psychologists, there are a number of reasons, including the prevalence of misinformation. One of the reasons people might be sharing that information — which they may not recognize as false — is that it represents their worldview, a phenomenon called confirmation bias. Another important consideration is that when people have strong motivations, they're very selective in the sort of evidence they look for. They can be motivated by fear if their livelihood is dependent on the oil industry for example, so they fear acknowledging climate change will threaten their jobs. Others might resent government taking money out of their pockets in the form of public spending on carbon mitigation efforts. So while there is a lot of climate change information out there, communicating it in an effective way is key.

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Social Sciences

What influences people's thinking and reactions to climate change?

Social Sciences
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