This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Perception and application of climate science by distinct audiences: Impacts of measurement, attention, and credibility




Courtney, Steph

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation



Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Climate change is among the greatest threats to human lives and livelihoods and any efforts to reduce harm by mitigating climate change or adapting to changes will require mass participation. However, the knowledge and perceptions of the public, including policy- and decision-makers, are often not aligned with the knowledge produced by climate scientists. Climate communication is needed to reduce that gap, improving climate literacy across the globe, to allow individuals to make informed choices in their lives and careers. Past research has shown that tailoring climate communication tools and strategies to specific purposes and audiences make communication efforts more effective. In these studies, we advance that research by improving the measurement of use of climate science by decisionmakers, exploring museum visitors’ interaction and intake of climate change information, and modeling the relationships between undergraduate students’ perceptions of climate change and climate scientists.