If Others Care, I Will Fight Climate Change: An Examination of Media Effects in Addressing the Public Goods Dilemma of Climate Change Mitigation

Xiaodong Yang, Ran Wei, Shirley S. Ho


In line with social psychology research on pro-environmental behavior (PEB) and ecological economics research on the provision of public goods, this study applied an interdisciplinary approach to understand media effects in addressing the public goods dilemma of climate change mitigation. By integrating the influence of presumed media influence (IPMI) model and the theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study examined how perceived effects of environmental messages on others affect an individual’s own reasoning for personal action in public goods provision. Findings from data collected from a national survey in Singapore demonstrated that respondents estimated others’ attention to media messages about climate change based on their attention. The perception of others’ media attention led them to project media influence on others. Furthermore, the more people believed that others were influenced by the message, the more likely they were to engage in PEB. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.


public goods dilemma, influence of presumed media influence, climate change mitigation

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