Age differences in the context of climate change: Does exposure to a fake consensus statement make a difference?

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Abstract

The present study examined whether people of different age groups respond differently to a true versus fake consensus statement concerning climate change. In total, 309 participants were randomly exposed to a true consensus statement about climate change and 311 were exposed to a false statement. Subsequently, respondents were asked to respond to items about attitudes, feelings, and behavioral intentions concerning climate change. Compared with younger people, older persons are significantly more concerned about climate change, more likely to report that climate change is real and more willing to take climate change action. Nevertheless, older persons also are more likely to be willing to post both fake and truthful information about climate change, thus, possibly serving as spreaders of both fake and truthful information. The findings suggest that it is younger people who will benefit from further education about climate change and older people who may benefit from education about the spread of information in social media. Our findings also suggest that simply providing individuals with consensus information has only limited impact on their climate change attitudes, feelings and behavioral intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0298219
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number3 March
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Liat Ayalon.

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