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Climatic Change

, Volume 137, Issue 1–2, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Combining threat and efficacy messaging to increase public engagement with climate change in Beijing, China

  • Wen Xue
  • Donald W. HineEmail author
  • Anthony D. G. Marks
  • Wendy J. Phillips
  • Patrick Nunn
  • Shouying Zhao
Article

Abstract

In this study we employed the Extended Parallel Process Model of risk communication to investigate the effectiveness of combining threat and efficacy messages to increase public engagement with climate change. A total of 515 Mandarin-speaking residents of Beijing, China were randomly assigned to view one of two climate change messages sourced from an online environmental website. The first message (high threat – low efficacy) described the negative impacts of climate change for China, but provided no information about what actions could be taken by citizens to reduce the threat. The second message (high threat – high efficacy) provided the same threat information, but also provided practical information on how to reduce the threat. Mediation analyses revealed that the high threat – high efficacy message elicited higher levels of perceived efficacy in viewers, which in turn predicted higher levels of danger control processing (intention to seek our more information and take action) and lower levels of fear control processing (message rejection and denial of threat). Moderation analyses revealed that the high efficacy messages were less effective for viewers with moderate to strong anthropocentric worldviews and very high ecocentric worldviews.

Keywords

Public Engagement High Threat Combat Climate Change Ecological Paradigm Climate Change Action 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Xue
    • 1
  • Donald W. Hine
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anthony D. G. Marks
    • 1
  • Wendy J. Phillips
    • 1
  • Patrick Nunn
    • 2
  • Shouying Zhao
    • 3
  1. 1.University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.University of Sunshine CoastSunshine CoastAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina

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