Date of Original Version
Media framing plays an important role in shaping attitudes and behaviors toward climate change, but the literature remains split on whether positive or negative frames are more effective. Additionally, few studies have investigated the effects that message exposure may have on audiences long-term. This study used a longitudinal experiment to investigate how repeated exposure to negatively- or positively-valenced news articles about climate change impacts attitudes, behaviors, and policy preferences. Participants read either a positive or negative article each week over the course of four weeks, with a follow-up four weeks after treatment concluded. Exposure to both types of messaging increased climate concern and perceived importance in the short term, but this effect only persisted over time in the negatively-valenced article group. Exposure to positively-valenced articles was associated with short-term increases in self- and societal efficacy around climate change, but this did not persist over time. There were minimal effects on behaviors and policy preferences.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Diamond, E., & Urbanski, K. (2022). The Impact of Message Valence on Climate Change Attitudes: A Longitudinal Experiment. Environmental Communication, 16(8), 1046–1058. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2022.2151486 Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2022.2151486