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Article on climate change by Rusi Jaspal and Brigitte Nerlich

Rusi Jaspal (University of Brighton) and Brigitte Nerlich have published an article on climate change, identity and coping in Climanosco, which peer publishes reviewed climate research articles that have been edited for a broad audience. Climanosco fosters collaborative, community-driven connections between society and science.  


Climate change is a significant global challenge but also a controversial topic. In this article, we present an integrative theoretical framework and discuss the social psychological aspects of climate change, focusing on how it is communicated and understood, and how people respond to it.

First, we focus on linguistic constructions of climate change and its mitigation measures, drawing on tenets of social representations theory. Second, we outline the individual and group levels of identity and their relevance to understanding how people respond to particular social representations of climate change and its mitigation measures. Third, through the lens of identity process theory, we discuss relevant climate change behaviours in terms of coping strategies which operate at individual, interpersonal and intergroup levels. We argue that social representations of climate change (and its mitigation strategies) must resonate among the general population; that they must not excessively challenge identity and wellbeing; and that people should be empowered to take action against climate change.

Read the article.

Posted on Tuesday 14th June 2022

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