Feldman, L., & Hart, P. S. (2016). Using political efficacy messages to increase climate activism: The mediating role of emotions. Science Communication, 38(1), 99-127. 


Using an online experiment with a national sample, this study tests the effects of political efficacy messages on two types of climate-related political participation via the discrete emotions of hope, fear, and anger and compares these effects across ideological groups. Relative to a message that discusses only negative climate impacts, messages that emphasize the internal, external, or response efficacy of political actions to address climate change are found to influence hope and fear but not anger, and these effects vary by political ideology. Furthermore, exposure to efficacy information indirectly increases participation via hope—even, in some cases, among conservatives.

Keywords climate change, efficacy, emotions, political participation, political ideology