Climate change risk perceptions of audiences in the climate change blogosphere

Eck, Christel W. van; Mulder, Bob C.; Linden, Sander van der


The Climate Change Risk Perception Model (CCRPM, Van der Linden, 2015) has been used to characterize public risk perceptions; however, little is known about the model’s explanatory power in other (online) contexts. In this study, we extend the model and investigate the risk perceptions of a unique audience: The polarized climate change blogosphere. In total, our model explained 84% of the variance in risk perceptions by integrating socio-demographic characteristics, cognitive factors, experiential processes, socio-cultural influences, and an additional dimension: Trust in scientists and blogs. Although trust and the scientific consensus are useful additions to the model, affect remains the most important predictor of climate change risk perceptions. Surprisingly, the relative importance of social norms and value orientations is minimal. Implications for risk and science communication are discussed.