The gendered nature of stereotypes about climate change opinion groups

Janet K. Swim, Nathaniel Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We document the gendered nature and valence of stereotypes about each of the Six Americas climate change opinion groups that represent a continuum of climate change opinions from Dismissive to Alarmed. Results primarily supported predictions. First, the more groups were associated with strong concern about climate change, the more feminine they were perceived to be. Second, groups with strong concern or strong lack of concern were seen the most negatively. However, contrary to expectations, greater concern was also associated with more positive masculine traits. Combining effects, most perceived the Dismissive to have negative masculine traits and not to have positive feminine traits, those with intermediate opinions (especially, those who were Cautious and Concerned) most favorably, and the Alarmed to have both positive masculine and negative feminine traits. Ratings suggest that (a) the Dismissive may be seen as being “bad but bold”, (b) the Cautious and Concerned may be seen as liked but not respected, and (c) the Alarmed may be seen as respected but not liked. Thus, ratings indicate the importance of attending to gendered and ambivalent impressions of group. Third, valence of impressions was moderated by perceivers’ personal concern about climate change in a manner consistent with intergroup biases. Findings lay the groundwork for understanding the influence of impressions of opinion groups on, for example, willingness to endorse opinions, associate with opinion groups, and support or oppose climate change action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-456
Number of pages19
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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