Media uses and social representations of climate change

Rosa Cabecinhas, Alexandra Lázaro, Anabela Carvalho


A survey study with Portuguese participants (N=614) was carried out to investigate the relationship between practices of media consumption, the use of other sources of information, and social representations of climate change.
Results show a moderate level of knowledge about climate change, a high level of concern and a high level of perceived risk towards the potential effects of climate change, emotionally negative images associated with climate change, and low frequency of climate-friendly individual behaviour. News media are reported to be the main sources of information on climate change and are positively assessed in terms of credibility.
Practices of media consumption are a predictor variable of individual mitigation actions, behavioural intentions, concern about climate change and, in a smaller degree, knowledge about climate change. However, they have little impact on risk perceptions and on the emotional valence of the images associated with climate change.

Keywords: climate change, media, social representations, attitudes, risk

Full Text:



Communicating Climate Change: Discourses, Mediations and Perceptions
ISBN: 978-989-95500-3-2

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Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade (CECS)
Universidade do Minho