The Effect of Trust in Science and Media Use on Public Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Meta-analysis

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Abstract

A consensus gap exists between scientific and public opinion on the existence and causes of anthropogenic climate change (ACC). Public opinion on ACC is influenced by individual trust in science and the use of different media sources. We used systematic review and applied meta-analysis to examine how trust in science and the use of new versus traditional, and centralized versus user-generated media are related to public opinion on ACC. We compiled two data sets: trust in science (n = 13, k = 18) and media use (n = 12, k = 68). Our results showed a positive relationship between the levels of trust, media use, and ACC beliefs in line with the scientific consensus (i.e. pro-social ACC beliefs), with media use being moderated by nationality. Additionally, the effect size for using new or user-generated media sources was twice as large as using traditional or centralized media sources.

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Bogert, J. M., Buczny, J., Harvey, J. A., & Ellers, J. (2023). The Effect of Trust in Science and Media Use on Public Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Meta-analysis. Environmental Communication. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2023.2280749

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