Climate change, values, and the cultural cognition thesis

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Recently the importance of addressing values in discussions of risk perception and adaptation to climate change has become manifest. Values-based approaches to climate change adaptation and the cultural cognition thesis both illustrate this trend. We argue that in the wake of this development it is necessary to take the dynamic relationship between values and beliefs seriously, to acknowledge the possibility of bi-directional relationships between values and beliefs, and to address the variety of values involved (e.g. personal, epistemic and cultural values). The dynamic relationship between values and beliefs, we claim, highlights the need to bring ethical considerations to bear on climate change communication. In particular, we must ask whether it is acceptable to tailor information about the risks of climate change in an effort to maximize communicative effectiveness given the values of the target group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy
  • Medical Ethics


  • cultural cognition thesis
  • science communication
  • risk communication
  • scientific integrity
  • climate change adaptation
  • value-based decision


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