DIGSSCORE seminar: Why Do People (Not) Worry About Climate Change? Insights From Answers to an Open-Ended Survey Question in Norway

Picture of Sina Storelv
Hanna Fylkesnes

Main content

Sina Storelv, research data coordinator for DIGSSCORE will present for us today. She will present work from her master thesis in social- and cognitive psychology which now is in the process of being rewritten to a research article. The presentation is titled "Why Do People (Not) Worry About Climate Change? Insights From Answers to an Open-Ended Survey Question in Norway".

Abstract for the master thesis:

Human activity is causing changes to the earth’s climate and nature that can severely threaten both human and non-human life. The extent to which we experience worry about this threat impacts our willingness to change our behavior and take the actions that are necessary to reduce the risk of climate change. This exploratory study aims to investigate why people worry to a different extent about climate change, and what their worries usually involve. Using an open-ended survey question, this study asked a representative sample of the Norwegian population (N = 1690) to elaborate on why they were more or less worried about climate change. The results revealed that the most common reasons for worrying about climate change were related to awareness and concern about possible harmful consequences, as well as barriers to preventing these consequences. More frequently mentioning consequences for humans further separated the most worried from the less worried. The most common reasons for not worrying about climate change were skepticism, faith in solutions, opposition to parts of the climate movement, and disengagement. These findings indicate there are multiple beliefs and motives among the public that can hinder emotional engagement in climate change, and future approaches seeking to increase this engagement should consider targeting these specific mindsets.

The master thesis can be read in full on BORA.


The event is in a hybrid format, you are welcome to join us for lunch from the Corner room at DIGSSCORE. Food is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Zoom link for digital attendance.