Citizens are increasingly polarized on climate change, making persuasive communication on the issue rarely effective. We investigated how individuals with different climate change beliefs evaluated gain- and loss-framed messages on the environmental and economic impact of a related policy. In Studies 1 & 2, we found that Italian (N = 240) and American (N = 172) participants evaluated the differently framed messages according to their initial climate change beliefs, except in the crucial case of loss-framed economic messages (i.e. stressing the financial burden of the policy), which were evaluated similarly by both climate believers and skeptics. Exposure to this frame also had a significant negative effect on support for the policy. In Study 3, the same effect was found with a nationally representative sample (N = 496) of Italian citizens. Discussion focuses on the benefits, and potential drawbacks, of communication regarding the economic consequences of climate change policies.
- climate change
- climate skepticism