Public perception of global warming can be defined by a combination of factors, including certainty that most scientists think global warming is happening, certainty about the human causes of global warming, certainty about the occurrence of global warming, and concern about global warming impact (Feldman, Maibach, Roser-Renouf, & Leiserowitz, 2012). The media plays a critical role in communicating scientific findings to the public and can create an informational bias by providing coverage on viewpoints that do not align with the scientific consensus on climate change. The purpose of this project was to examine if there is a correlation between college students’ perceived exposure to conflicting media coverage of climate change and their perceptions of the issue. Understanding how college students perceive the issue is particularly important because this group is vulnerable to misconceptions about the issue and distinctive challenges are associated with changing their attitudes on socio-scientific issues such as climate change. Through an anonymous survey of 132 undergraduate students, this study found that there is a significant correlation between college students’ perceived exposure to contradictory media coverage and certainty that most scientists think global warming is happening, along with certainty about the human causes of climate change. This provides an understanding as to which aspects of climate change the media may have more influence in shaping through environmental communication.
Communication Studies and Sustainability Innovation and Outreach
Hui Zhang (Thesis Advisor)
Ryan LaBrozz,( Thesis Advisor)
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Andrade, Kasey. (2018). Public Perception & the Planet: Correlation between College Students’ Media Exposure to Contradictory News and Their Perceptions of Climate Change. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 302. Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/302
Copyright © 2018 Kasey Andrade