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Like artificial trees? The effect of framing by natural analogy on public perceptions of geoengineering

Corner, Adam J. and Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank ORCID: 2015. Like artificial trees? The effect of framing by natural analogy on public perceptions of geoengineering. Climatic Change 130 (3) , pp. 425-438. 10.1007/s10584-014-1148-6

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The linguistic frames used to describe new areas of science and technology can have a powerful effect on the way that those technologies are perceived by the general public. As geoengineering continues to attract scholarly and policy interest, a number of frames have emerged in the scientific, political and media discourse. In the current paper, we provide an empirical test of one of the most prevalent framing devices: describing geoengineering technologies by analogy to natural processes. In an online experiment with members of the UK public, participants who read a description of geoengineering technologies as analogous to natural processes were more likely to support geoengineering as a response to climate change. In addition, participants’ views about the relationship between geoengineering and nature strongly predicted support for geoengineering. Our findings suggest that communicators should be cautious when using natural analogies to communicate about geoengineering with the general public, as frame choice is likely to influence public attitudes and potentially convey undue positivity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0165-0009
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 4 May 2014
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 03:34

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