I Share, Therefore I Am: A U.S.−China Comparison of College Students' Motivations to Share Information About Climate Change



This study examines social cognitive factors that influence information sharing related to climate change. Survey data were collected in the United States and China. Social and epistemic motivations, negative emotion, and information seeking were significant predictors of information sharing in the U.S. sample. In the Chinese sample, however, social motivation and information seeking were the only significant predictors. These results suggest that psychological collectivism fosters information sharing. For theory development purposes, these findings suggest that besides information seeking and processing, the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model could account for information sharing as well, although evidence only surfaced in the U.S. sample. Practically, this study offers important pathways to improve information sharing related to climate change in the public sphere.