Understanding discrepancies between scientific and lay beliefs on climate change

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

The concept of motivated reasoning— a form of biased reasoning people use to reach a preferred conclusion—is often used to explain climate change skepticism. A study led by Professor Erin Hennes (Psychological Sciences) finds that in research and in practice, motivated reasoning is too often overstated and also too often understated. The researchers offer a framework for a “Goldilocks” perspective that is “just right,” allowing for improved understanding of climate change attitudes and the development of strategies to effectively intervene on climate change misunderstanding.

Hennes, E.P., Kim, T., and L.J. Remache (2020). A goldilocks critique of the hot cognition perspective on climate change skepticism. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 34: 142-147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.03.009

Category: Research

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