Original Research Article
The Role of Emotion in Global Warming Policy Support and Opposition
Article first published online: 12 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Risk Analysis published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Risk Analysis.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 34, Issue 5, pages 937–948, May 2014
How to Cite
Smith, N. and Leiserowitz, A. (2014), The Role of Emotion in Global Warming Policy Support and Opposition. Risk Analysis, 34: 937–948. doi: 10.1111/risa.12140
- Issue published online: 15 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 12 NOV 2013
- Surdna Foundation
- 11th Hour Project
- Pacific Foundation
- Grantham Foundation
- V.K. Rasmussen Foundation
- global warming;
- policy preferences
Prior research has found that affect and affective imagery strongly influence public support for global warming. This article extends this literature by exploring the separate influence of discrete emotions. Utilizing a nationally representative survey in the United States, this study found that discrete emotions were stronger predictors of global warming policy support than cultural worldviews, negative affect, image associations, or sociodemographic variables. In particular, worry, interest, and hope were strongly associated with increased policy support. The results contribute to experiential theories of risk information processing and suggest that discrete emotions play a significant role in public support for climate change policy. Implications for climate change communication are also discussed.