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Guided by the Cultural Theory of Risk (CTR), the present study examined the relationship between college students’ cultural worldviews and their climate change threat perception, knowledge levels, and likelihood of engaging in mitigation behaviors. Additionally, the study attempted to investigate the association between the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels of college students’ home countries and their perceived threat of climate change. One-hundred fifty-one college students, representing eighteen countries, completed a survey assessing these variables. Pearson’s correlation analyses revealed a positive relationship between both individualism and hierarchy and college students’ climate change threat perception, knowledge levels, and mitigation behaviors. While a small and demographically skewed sample precluded a global analysis of the association between home country and threat perception, American and Indian respondents had no difference in their perceived threat of climate change. This study’s findings provide a more complete picture of the factors that influence college students’ climate change attitudes and behaviors as well as several implications for achieving more effective climate change communication among culturally diverse college students.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Cultural Perspectives on Climate Change

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 97

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Hanna R. Hecht received her BA, Communications and Sustainability, in 2020 from George Washington University.