GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 228-9
Presentation Time: 3:45 PM


RAPPOLEE, Eleanor1, LIBARKIN, Julie C.2, KIRBY, Caitlin K.1 and JAIMES, Patricia3, (1)Geocognition Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, 207 Natural Science, East Lansing, MI 48824, (2)Michigan State University, Geocognition Research Lab, 207 Natural Science, East Lansing, MI 48824, (3)Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Geocognition Research Laboratory, 288 Farm Lane #117, East Lansing, MI 48823

Climate change presents a profound challenge to social, political, and economic systems. Although most of the U.S. population believes climate change is occurring, most people do not perceive climate change as a risk to themselves and therefore their involvement with climate change mitigation is low. To address this issue, a strong understanding of current behavior and behavioral predictors are essential to promote community and individual involvement in climate change mitigation action. This study uses three different types of surveys (Likert, Q-sort, and drawings) consisting of the same set of variables to comprehensively measure climate change mitigation behavior (e.g. eat less meat, use public transportation, conserve water). Surveys were collected from participants at a multinational geoscience conference held in fall 2018. Survey participants were asked to indicate “how likely you are to engage in each of the following actions to reduce climate change impacts”. For Likert and Q-sort surveys, participants were given 16 actions to choose from, while the drawing survey asked participants to provide their own actions. In addition, we measured the impact of 1) personal norms, 2) risk perceptions, 3) climate change beliefs, and 4) demographics on individuals’ climate change mitigation behaviors. Using triangulation, we tested validity through the convergence of information from the three different types of surveys. Nearly 255 Likert, 115 drawing, and 80 Q-sort completed surveys (n=450) were coded. We found that behaviors from the Likert and Q-sort surveys grouped similarly together, with risk perceptions and climate change beliefs having a significant impact. Conversely, the drawing surveys revealed a wider variety of behaviors, with risk perceptions, climate change beliefs, and personal norms having a significant impact. These results reinforce the importance of using triangulation methodologies and the integral role that drawing surveys play in measuring climate change mitigation behaviors. This research provides a comprehensive method for measuring and potentially enhancing public engagement in climate change mitigation action.