Development and validation of a climate change perceptions scale

A. M. van Valkengoed*, L. Steg, G. Perlaviciute

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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People's perceptions of climate change have been of great interest for understanding how people respond to climate change. Yet, studies differ greatly in how they assess climate change perceptions, which makes it difficult to compare and integrate findings. The aim of this paper is to develop and validate a scale to reliably measure people's climate change perceptions. We define climate change perceptions as people's perceptions of the reality and causes of climate change, and the perceived valence, spatial distance, and temporal distance of consequences of climate change. To measure these perceptions, an item pool was developed based on a literature search and expert review. The resulting scale was tested in three empirical studies conducted in the US and the Netherlands, which supported the factor structure; reliability; convergent, predictive, and discriminant validity; and measurement invariance of the scale. Implications for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101652
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Early online date12-Jul-2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2021

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