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Stories vs. facts: triggering emotion and action-taking on climate change

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dc.contributor Háskólinn í Reykjavík
dc.contributor Reykjavik University
dc.contributor.author Morris, Brandi S.
dc.contributor.author Chrysochou, Polymeros
dc.contributor.author Christensen, Jacob Dalgaard
dc.contributor.author Orquin, Jacob L.
dc.contributor.author Barraza, Jorge
dc.contributor.author Zak, Paul J.
dc.contributor.author Mitkidis, Panagiotis
dc.date.accessioned 2020-10-12T12:52:57Z
dc.date.available 2020-10-12T12:52:57Z
dc.date.issued 2019-04-06
dc.identifier.citation Morris, B. S., Chrysochou, P., Christensen, J. D., Orquin, J. L., Barraza, J., Zak, P. J., & Mitkidis, P. (2019). Stories vs. facts: Triggering emotion and action-taking on climate change. Climatic Change, 154(1–2), 19–36. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02425-6
dc.identifier.issn 0165-0009
dc.identifier.issn 1573-1480 (eISSN)
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2109
dc.description Publisher's version (útgefin grein)
dc.description.abstract Climate change is an issue which elicits low engagement, even among concerned segments of the public. While research suggests that the presentation of factual information (e.g., scientific consensus) can be persuasive to some audiences, there is also empirical evidence indicating that it may also increase resistance in others. In this research, we investigate whether climate change narratives structured as stories are better than informational narratives at promoting pro-environmental behavior in diverse audiences. We propose that narratives structured as stories facilitate experiential processing, heightening affective engagement and emotional arousal, which serve as an impetus for action-taking. Across three studies, we manipulate the structure of climate change communications to investigate how this influences narrative transportation, measures of autonomic reactivity indicative of emotional arousal, and pro-environmental behavior. We find that stories are more effective than informational narratives at promoting pro-environmental behavior (studies 1 and 3) and self-reported narrative transportation (study 2), particularly those with negatively valenced endings (study 3). The results of study 3 indicate that embedding information in story structure influences cardiac activity, and subsequently, pro-environmental behavior. These findings connect works from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, narratology, and climate change communication, advancing our understanding of how narrative structure influences engagement with climate change through emotional arousal, which likely incites pro-environmental behavior as the brain's way of optimizing bodily budgets.
dc.description.sponsorship This research has been supported by seed funding from the Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, as well as the Aarhus University Research Foundation.
dc.format.extent 19-36
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
dc.relation.ispartofseries Climatic Change;154(1-2)
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Atmospheric Science
dc.subject Global and Planetary Change
dc.subject Climate changes
dc.subject Communication
dc.subject Stories
dc.subject Emotions
dc.subject Affect (Psychology)
dc.subject Behavior
dc.subject Loftslagsfræði
dc.subject Hlýnun jarðar
dc.subject Loftslagsbreytingar
dc.subject Boðskipti
dc.subject Tilfinningar
dc.subject Áhrif (sálfræði)
dc.subject Atferli
dc.title Stories vs. facts: triggering emotion and action-taking on climate change
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dcterms.license This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and repro-duction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
dc.description.version "Peer Reviewed"
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10584-019-02425-6
dc.contributor.school Viðskiptadeild (HR)
dc.contributor.school School of Business (RU)


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