23 Aug '11, 4pm

People don’t care about climate impacts in other countries:

People don’t care about climate impacts in other countries:

Messages about the urgency of climate change that depict harms to people in other countries, or even just other parts of the same country, often backfire, says a new study. Researchers discovered that "motivated reasoning,” the kind that reinforces your pre-existing beliefs, kicks in when viewers are confronted with tales of doom and gloom. Then a cognitive shortcut -- namely, “how much is this person like me?” -- tells the viewer how much they should care about a given harm. Basically, when confronted with information that runs counter to our foundational beliefs (e.g., fossil fuels are good and the EPA is a “job killing organization”) viewers tend to use their xenophobia to short-circuit their ability to follow logically to the most reasonable conclusions ("Maybe we should do something about all these carbon emissions!").

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-08-23-people-dont-care-abo...

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