April 6, 2011 – What Americans and Massachusetts Residents Think About Climate Change – Attitude Formation and Change in Response to a Raging Scientific Controversy with Jon A. Krosnick, Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences; Professor of Communication, Political Science and Pyschology, Stanford UniversityDr. Jon Krosnick, the Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor of Communication, Political Science and Pyschology at Stanford, is a social psychologist who does research on attitude formation, change, and effects; the psychology of political behavior; and survey research methods.
During the past two decades, many scientific experts have been frustrated by the American public's apparent indifference to climate change and the threats it may pose. And even during the two years, headlines on newspapers across the country have proclaimed: "Scientists and the American Public Disagree Sharply Over Global Warming" and "Public Concern About Climate Waning." Is it really true? Do Americans really not accept the opinions of scientific experts on climate change? In this presentation, Professor Jon Krosnick will describe findings from a series of national surveys that he has designed and conducted since 1996, as well as and a recent survey of Massachusetts residents, tracking what people do and do not believe on this issue and what they do and do not want to have done about it. Surprising results challenge many widely-held presumptions about public opinion, illuminate the increasing politicization of the issue, and provide a context for watching and understanding future efforts to pass (and block) legislation on climate change.
Professor, Harvard Department of Government
Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan; MIT Visiting Professor of Management