Feldman, L., & Hart, P. S. (2018). Is there any hope? How climate change news imagery and text influence audience emotions and support for mitigation policies. Risk Analysis, 38(3), 585-602. 

Abstract

Using a national sample, this study experimentally tests the effects of news visuals and texts that emphasize either the causes and impacts of climate change or actions that can be taken to address climate change. We test the effects of variations in text and imagery on discrete emotions (i.e., hope, fear, and anger) and, indirectly, on support for climate mitigation policies. Political ideology is examined as a moderator. The findings indicate that news images and texts that focus on climate‐oriented actions can increase hope and, in the case of texts, decrease fear and anger, and these effects generally hold across the ideological spectrum. In turn, the influence of emotions on policy support depends on ideology: Hope and fear increase support for climate policies for all ideological groups but particularly conservatives, whereas anger polarizes the opinions of liberals and conservatives. Implications for climate change communication that appeals to emotions are discussed.