Choose Your Own Emotion: Predictors of Selective Exposure to Emotion-Inducing Climate Messages

Chris Skurka, Rainer Romero-Canyas, Helen H. Joo, Jeff Niederdeppe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The contemporary high-choice media landscape offers users considerable latitude to select media content. When it comes to media messaging about science issues like climate change, it is unclear whether audiences gravitate toward different kinds of emotionally evocative messages and what psychosocial factors underlie those preferences. Here, we presented young adults (N = 1,493) with three climate change videos to choose from (“funny,” “scary,” “informational”) and found more participants selected funny content than scary or informational. Contradicting hypotheses derived from mood management theory, negative mood was associated with selecting the scary video. Conservatives preferred the funny and scary video to the informational video, but gender identity was the strongest predictor of selective exposure with women preferring funny and scary videos to informational.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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