The Role of Late-Night Infotainment Comedy in Communicating Climate Change Consensus

Clarke, EJR, Klas, Annamaria, Stevenson, J and Kothe, Emily 2020, The Role of Late-Night Infotainment Comedy in Communicating Climate Change Consensus, PsyArXiv Preprints, pp. 1-26, doi: 10.31234/

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Title The Role of Late-Night Infotainment Comedy in Communicating Climate Change Consensus
Author(s) Clarke, EJR
Klas, AnnamariaORCID iD for Klas, Annamaria
Stevenson, J
Kothe, EmilyORCID iD for Kothe, Emily
Journal name PsyArXiv Preprints
Start page 1
End page 26
Total pages 26
Publisher Center for Open Science
Publication date 2020-08-03

Climate change is a politically-polarised issue, with conservatives less likely than liberals to perceive it as human-caused and consequential. Furthermore, they are less likely to support mitigation and adaptation policies needed to reduce its impacts. This study aimed to examine whether John Oliver’s “A Mathematically Representative Climate Change Debate” clip on his program Last Week Tonight polarised or depolarised a politically-diverse audience on climate policy support and behavioural intentions. One hundred and fifty-nine participants, recruited via Amazon MTurk (94 female, 64 male, one gender unspecified, Mage = 51.07, SDage = 16.35), were presented with either John Oliver’s climate change consensus clip, or a humorous video unrelated to climate change. Although the climate change consensus clip did not reduce polarisation (or increase it) relative to a control on mitigation policy support, it resulted in hyperpolarisation on support for adaptation policies and increased climate action intentions among liberals but not conservatives.

Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.31234/
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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