US Climate and Health Alliance

The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public


CRED research shows that, in order for climate science information to be fully absorbed by audiences, it must be actively communicated with appropriate language, metaphor, and analogy; combined with narrative storytelling; made vivid through visual imagery and experiential scenarios; balanced with scientific information; and delivered by trusted messengers in group settings. This guide combines laboratory and field research with real-world examples. It blends information from the broad spectrum of disciplines that CRED encompasses: psychology, anthropology, economics, history, environmental science and policy, and climate science. Intended for anyone who communicates about climate change, from scientists, journalists, educators, clerics, and political aides to concerned citizens, the guide’s purpose is to assist communicators in reaching two key audiences—the general public and decision makers from government and business—more effectively. The principles found in this guide should help make climate change presentations and discussions more effective.

Resource Type
Debika Shome Sabine Marx
Resource URL
October 2009
Center for Research on Environmental Decisions
Organization Type
Climate communication/messaging

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