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Environment and Behavior

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Submitted By glyza
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Environment and Behavior
2014, Vol 46(1) 70–101
© The Author(s) 2012
Reprints and permissions: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0013916512452428 eab.sagepub.com 452428EAB46110.1177/00139165124
52428Environment and BehaviorHowell
© The Author(s) 2012
Reprints and permissions: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav 1
The University of Edinburgh, UK
Corresponding Author:
Rachel A. Howell, Centre for the study of Environmental Change and Sustainability, School of
Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP, UK.
Email: r.a.howell@sms.ed.ac.uk
Investigating the LongTerm
Impacts of Climate
Change Communications on Individuals’ Attitudes and Behavior
Rachel A. Howell1
Abstract
To assess the effectiveness of climate change communications, it is important to examine their long-term impacts on individuals’ attitudes and behavior.
This article offers an example study and a discussion of the challenges of conducting long-term investigations of behavioral change related to climate change communications (a vital and underresearched area). The research reported is a longitudinal panel study of the impacts on UK viewers of the climate change movie The Age of Stupid. The heightened levels of concern, motivation to act, and sense of agency about action that were initially generated by the movie did not measurably persist over the long term. The results also show that behavioral intentions do not necessarily translate into action.
Data analysis raised issues concerning the reliability of participants’ causal attributions of their behavior. This and other methodological challenges are discussed, and some ways of avoiding or lessening problems are suggested.
Keywords
climate change communications, proenvironmental behavior, behavioral change, behavioral intentions, public attitudes
Article
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