Do partisanship and politicization undermine the impact of a scientific consensus message about climate change?

Toby Bolsen, James N. Druckman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

Scientists are in near-universal agreement that human activity is a primary cause of climate change. Yet, despite this scientific consensus, the American public remains divided when it comes to beliefs about human-induced climate change. We investigate the role of partisan group identity and the politicization of science in undermining the impact of a scientific consensus message about human-induced climate change. We do so with a survey experiment administered on a nationally representative sample, finding that partisan identity—and especially politicization—can stunt the effect of a scientific consensus statement about climate change. We conclude with a discussion about how scientists, as a group, might work with partisans to more effectively communicate scientific information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-402
Number of pages14
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Keywords

  • climate change
  • motivated reasoning
  • politicization
  • scientific consensus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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