Global Warming: The Psychology of Long Term Risk Workshop
The first workshop was held on November 12, 2004 at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
The workshop brought together eleven experts in cognitive psychology, social psychology, economics, and public opinion and survey research to present papers on how Americans incorporate information about climate change, and how their views and attitudes compare to those held by Europeans and others. Also discussed was the question of which means of communicating information about climate change are effective and which are not. In a novel feature, the workshop also brought in four climate science experts as discussants to comment on the psychology presentations, leading to lively discussions of long term risk and risk communication. The workshop attracted an audience of about thirty participants, including philosophers, ethicists, and economists, in addition to climate scientists and ecologists. Princeton University participants came from the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geosciences, and the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program and also included a half-dozen graduate students from the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Program. A number of participants from NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory were also in attendance.
There is a great demand for information about climate change from scientists. Government, media, educational institutions and the general public are some of the audiences that scientists seek to satisfy. But there have been few studies of how information about climate change is absorbed and interpreted by the public, particularly with regard to how the risk of climate change is evaluated by the public. Landmark studies over the past 25 years have revolutionized understanding of the psychology of risk, yet the climate science community has thus far not incorporated these. Proceedings of the workshop will be published as a special issue.
Current accepted papers as of October 31, 2005:
Leiserowitz, Anthony. Climate Change Risk Perception and Policy Preferences: The Role of Affect, Imagery, and Values. accepted: Special Volume, Climatic Change.
Sunstein, Cass R. TheAvailability Heuristic, Intuitive Cost-Benefit Analysis, and Climate Change. accepted: Special Volume, Climatic Change
Papers being prepared for submission as of October 31, 2005
Baron, Jonathan. Thinking about global warming
Bazerman, Max H. Climate Change as a Predictable Surprise
Jamieson, Dale. An American Paradox
Krosnick, Jon A. The Origins and Consequences of Democratic Citizens’ Policy Agendas
Lorenzoni, Irene and Nick Pidgeon. Public Views on Climate Change: European and USA Perspectives
McDaniels, Timothy L. Exploring Risk Perception and Cooperative Learning as Descriptive and Prescriptive Decision Frames for Climate Change
Viscusi, W. Kip and Joni Hersch. The Generational Divide in Support for Climate Change Policies: European Evidence
Viscusi, W. Kip and Richard J. Zeckhauser. How People Assess and Value the Risks of Climate Change
Weber, Elke U. Experience-Based and Description-Based Perceptions of Long-Term Risk: Why Global Warming Does Not Scare Us (Yet)