Abstract Title

Rhetorical Framing and Climate Change Engagement

Additional Funding Sources

This research, conducted at Boise State University, was supported by the Boise Cascade Corporation Environmental Research Fellowship through the Boise State University Honors College.

Abstract

Effectively communicating to the general public on overarching environmental problems such as climate change is a challenging and complex process influenced by a wide variety of factors. One of these influential factors is the rhetorical framing of the message, which can matter just as much as factual content. The study will examine how rhetorical framing affects climate change engagement, that is, how likely people are to take some form of action after hearing a message about climate change. A survey will be conducted via Qualtrics and Amazon Mechanical Turk with a target sample size of 500 participants. Participants will report how likely they are to take certain actions related to climate change, such as changing their buying habits to be more environmentally friendly. They will listen to one of three short passages (optimistic, pessimistic, or balanced in tone) about climate change and then answer the questions again so the results can be compared for any statistically significant difference. The results of this study may prove useful in learning more about what tone may be most effective in encouraging the individual and global changes needed to address climate change.

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Rhetorical Framing and Climate Change Engagement

Effectively communicating to the general public on overarching environmental problems such as climate change is a challenging and complex process influenced by a wide variety of factors. One of these influential factors is the rhetorical framing of the message, which can matter just as much as factual content. The study will examine how rhetorical framing affects climate change engagement, that is, how likely people are to take some form of action after hearing a message about climate change. A survey will be conducted via Qualtrics and Amazon Mechanical Turk with a target sample size of 500 participants. Participants will report how likely they are to take certain actions related to climate change, such as changing their buying habits to be more environmentally friendly. They will listen to one of three short passages (optimistic, pessimistic, or balanced in tone) about climate change and then answer the questions again so the results can be compared for any statistically significant difference. The results of this study may prove useful in learning more about what tone may be most effective in encouraging the individual and global changes needed to address climate change.