Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Consumers’ knowledge about climate change


Author Info

  • Christina Tobler
  • Vivianne Visschers


  • Michael Siegrist
Registered author(s):


    Several studies have unveiled various misconceptions about climate change that the public holds, for instance, confusion about climate change and ozone depletion. However, so far, there has been no uniform and standardized way to measure climate-related knowledge, which complicates comparisons between different countries or samples. To develop an extensive knowledge scale, we therefore examined the Swiss public’s understanding of climate change in a mail survey and related this scale to attitudes toward climate change. We thereby aimed to consider a broad range of climate-related knowledge, namely physical knowledge about CO 2 and the greenhouse effect, knowledge about climate change and its causes, knowledge about the expected consequences of climate change, and action-related knowledge. The questionnaire included items of different degrees of difficulty, ranging from knowledge that is covered by newspapers to experts’ knowledge. Our findings indicate that people still hold several misconceptions, although people’s knowledge related to CO 2 seems to have increased compared to previous studies. Of all knowledge subscales, knowledge about climate change and causes was most strongly related to attitudes toward climate change. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Climatic Change.

    Volume (Year): 114 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 189-209

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:2:p:189-209

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Sophie Guy & Yoshihisa Kashima & Iain Walker & Saffron O’Neill, 2013. "Comparing the atmosphere to a bathtub: effectiveness of analogy for reasoning about accumulation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 579-594, December.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:2:p:189-209. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.