Interpersonal discussions about climate change among the public are important for creating positive social change to addressing the issue, yet a majority of the public does not regularly discuss the topic. Previous correlational research connects avoidance of climate change discussions to low efficacy about these discussions. The present research tests whether a knowledge-based intervention which 1) uses evidence-based communication techniques to increase science knowledge and 2) highlights community-level solutions can promote public discussion through improving efficacy beliefs. A lab experiment (N = 173) with university students and a field quasi-experiment with two nationally representative samples of visitors to informal science learning centers (e.g., aquariums, Na = 1068, Nb = 907) demonstrates that those that received a knowledge-based intervention (vs. those who do not receive this intervention) report higher efficacy beliefs, which subsequently enhance engagement in climate change discussion. Our results suggest the potential for national-level knowledge-based interventions which improve efficacy beliefs to catalyze public engagement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology