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PLoS One. 2016 Aug 3;11(8):e0157658. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157658. eCollection 2016.

The Influence of Climate Change Efficacy Messages and Efficacy Beliefs on Intended Political Participation.

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Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.
School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America.


Using an online survey experiment with a national sample, this study examined how changing the type and valence of efficacy information in news stories discussing global climate change may impact intended political participation through the mediators of perceived internal, external, and response efficacy. Overall, the results revealed that after a single exposure to a news story, stories including positive internal efficacy content increased perceived internal efficacy, while stories including negative external efficacy content lowered perceived external efficacy. There were limited impacts of other types of efficacy content on perceived efficacy. Perceived internal, external, and response efficacy all offered unique, positive associations with intentions to engage in climate change-related political participation. The results suggest that news stories including positive internal efficacy information in particular have the potential to increase public engagement around climate change. The implications for science communication are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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