Climatic Change

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 7–43

The Origins and Consequences of democratic citizens' Policy Agendas: A Study of Popular Concern about Global Warming

  • Jon A. Krosnick
  • Allyson L. Holbrook
  • Laura Lowe
  • Penny S. Visser

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9068-8

Cite this article as:
Krosnick, J.A., Holbrook, A.L., Lowe, L. et al. Climatic Change (2006) 77: 7. doi:10.1007/s10584-006-9068-8


This article proposes and tests a model of the causes and consequences of Americans’ judgments of the national seriousness of global warming. The model proposes that seriousness judgments about global warming are a function of beliefs about the existence of global warming, attitudes toward it, the certainty with which these beliefs and attitudes are held, and beliefs about human responsibility for causing global warming and people’s ability to remedy it. The model also proposes that beliefs about whether global warming is a problem are a function of relevant personal experiences (with the weather) and messages from informants (in this case, scientists), that attitudes toward global warming are a function of particular perceived consequences of global warming, and that certainty about these attitudes and beliefs is a function of knowledge and prior thought. Data from two representative sample surveys offer support for all of these propositions, document effects of national seriousness judgments on support for ameliorative efforts generally and specific ameliorative policies, and thereby point to psychological mechanisms that may be responsible for institutional and elite impact on the public’s assessments of national problem importance and on public policy preferences.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon A. Krosnick
    • 1
  • Allyson L. Holbrook
    • 2
  • Laura Lowe
    • 3
  • Penny S. Visser
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of Communication, Political Science, and PsychologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Public Administration and Psychology, Survey Research Laboratory, MC336University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.NFO Ad: ImpactSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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