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Consumers’ knowledge about climate change

Listed author(s):
  • 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

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Climatic Change.

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

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:2:p:189-209
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0393-1
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