Document Type

Thesis

Keywords

information processing; climate change; politics; political parties; political ideology

Publisher

Bryant University

Abstract

This study addressed information processing for climate change messages from representatives of a political party. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the political ideology of a message source and message sender and its impact on perceived hazard characteristics, negative affective response, and information processing behavior. Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 posited that when the source and message receiver have the same political ideology, the receiver will experience heightened levels of concern about climate change. Hypothesis 3 and Hypothesis 4 posited that, regardless of the message source, participants are more inclined to heuristically process information. Research Question 1 sought to determine the circumstances which resulted in the highest levels of perceived hazard and negative affective response. Participants included US citizens of legal voting age with no barriers for geography, age, or race. Participants were asked to read a statement that randomly varied in source treatment then complete a survey. Results revealed that the source treatment for climate change messages had an impact perceived hazard and affective response with implications that issue salience and expectations violations could have an effect on how individuals respond to climate change messages.

Available for download on Thursday, September 30, 2021

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