Climate change and media usage: Effects on problem awareness and behavioural intentions
This article examines the question of how climate change awareness and media usage are related to each other. An integrated model for explaining awareness of environmental problems and behavioural intentions is developed. The model is then tested using data from a Germany-wide representative survey. In contrast to most previous studies, this investigation focuses not on the effects of selective, topic-specific media usage, but on the differential effects of information usage on multiple dependent variables. The results show that media usage does have a certain influence on awareness of climate problems and on related behavioural intentions, but the results cannot be explained by a simple formula. The findings differ both with respect to the various dependent variables and across different media. The fact that media do not always have a mobilizing, awareness-enhancing effect is certainly one of the most interesting results of this study.