No SDES-2019-15
Title Human-induced or nature-induced climate change? Impact of the perception gap on the cooperation
Author Junichi Hirose, Koji Kotani and Yoshinori Nakagawa
Abstract Climate change is a serious problem that requires people’s cooperation for its solution, while it is realized that there have been perception gaps about its causes. However, little is known about what causes people to perceive that climate change is human-induced or nature-induced as well as the linkage between the perception and cooperative attitude. We empirically analyze the determinants for the human-induced or nature-induced perception as well as the impact of the perception gap on cooperative attitudes toward climate change by conducting questionnaire surveys and a climate donation game with 400 Japanese subjects. First, the analysis finds an importance of people’s scientific literacy to explain the perception gap in that those with high levels of scientific literacy tend to have the perception of human-induced climate change. Second, people are identified to be cooperative toward climate change as they have prosocial value orientation, high scientific literacy and the perception of human-induced climate change, demonstrating that scientific literacy plays two important roles as not only a direct determinant but also an indirect one through affecting people’s perceptions for climate change cooperation. Overall, the results suggest that enhancement of scientific literacy and prosociality through some policies, such as educational programs, shall be key to induce people to cooperate for climate change via the perception of human-induced climate change.
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