Changing the World One Meme at a Time: The Effects of Climate Change Memes on Civic Engagement Intentions

Bingbing Zhang, Juliet Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The risks that animals and humans face from climate change are frequently featured in climate change memes. Although memes may appear to some as silly jokes, little is known of the impact they may have in the formation and spread of individuals’ perceived risk of climate change and intention to participate in climate change campaigns. This study tests the effect of climate change memes on the perceived risk of climate change and the intention of online engagement regarding climate change issues. Results show that exposure to climate change memes increases individual intentions of online civic engagement regarding climate change. Additionally, empathy is found to mediate this effect. However, risk perception of climate change is not altered after exposure to climate change memes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-764
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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