The effects of empowerment messaging on action responses to climate change



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Global climate change has many complex impacts that are cascading and increasing with a lack of direct action. Indirect and direct impacts on human life occur as a result of climate change that disproportionately impact marginalized communities. The psychological impacts of climate change are discussed, including ecological anxiety and ecological grief. The effects of powerlessness and psychological empowerment are discussed concerning their effects on psychological adaptation. In this study, I examined whether a visual message of empowerment or powerlessness will influence participants’ psychological responses to climate change in a sample of 131 participants. Neither empowerment nor powerlessness narratives had an effect on levels of psychological adaptation, and climate anxiety did not exacerbate this proposed effect. There was no evidence to suggest that climate change denial moderated this proposed effect. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.



Counseling Psychology, Environmental psychology, Climate change human health