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Objective

This research examines how narrative communication structures influence the public's perceptions of risk and policy preferences related to climate change.

Methods

An Internet-based experiment is used to expose roughly 1,500 census-balanced U.S. respondents to climate change information. Four experimental treatments are operationalized: a baseline control fact list and three culturally nuanced narratives.

Results

Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis indicates that narrative structure, particularly through the hero character, plays a powerful role in shaping climate change perceptions of risk and policy preferences.

Conclusion

Explanations of the public's perceptions of risk and climate change policy preferences should more explicitly account for the role of dominant climate narratives.