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Knowledge and Confidence in Knowledge about Climate Change among Experts, Journalists, Politicians, and Laypersons.

Journal article
Authors Eva-Lotta Sundblad
Anders Biel
Tommy Gärling
Published in Environment and Behavior
Volume 41
Pages 281-302
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 281-302
Language en
Links DOI: 10.1177/0013916508314998
Keywords Knowledge of climate change, Confidence in knowledge
Subject categories Environmental psychology

Abstract

Knowledge and confidence in one´s own knowledge of climate change was investigated among experts, journalists, politicians and laypersons. Subsamples of 65 experts, 72 environmental journalists, 145 politicians being chairs of environmental committees, and 621 laypersons in Sweden responded to survey questions concerning current climate state, causes and consequences of climate change. Experts presented the highest level of knowledge, followed by journalists, politicians and laypersons. In all the groups, knowledge of causes was greater than that of climate state and of future consequences, and among the latter knowledge was less of health consequences than that of weather and sea/glacier consequences. Also, experts expressed the highest level of confidence in their own knowledge, followed by journalists, politicians and laypersons. Nevertheless, the adjustment of confidence in one’s own knowledge to actual knowledge was somewhat higher among journalists than among experts.

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