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Global climate change

Republicans more persuasive than actual scientists when it comes to correcting misinformation about climate change

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
4/25/2018, 9:59:11 AM

A new study from the University of Connecticut and published in Climatic Change shows that regardless of political affiliation, people are more likely to believe facts about climate change if they come from Republicans.

Image courtesy NASA.

Republicans are even more persuasive than actual scientists when it comes to correcting mis-information about climate change.

"Partisanship increasingly influences perceptions of scientific credibility," said Salil Benegal, a recent UCONN Ph.D. graduate who is now at DePauw University.

The study surveyed 1,341 people who either self identified as Republican, Democrat or Independent.

There was a partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans in their stated opinions on climate change, with Democrats showing the highest level of concern and scientific agreement.

Participants of the UCONN study found the most effective, factual corrections to misleading information came from Republicans rather than non-partisan scientists or Democrats.

The researchers of the study believe that the reason for the above result is because Republicans who make such statements are engaging in more potentially costly behavior that would lend them additional persuasive value.

Key excerpt from the UCONN Today story....

“Citing Republican elites who endorse the scientific consensus on climate change may be the most effective way to persuade citizens that climate change is a real and important problem,” says Lyle Scruggs, professor of political science at UConn who co-authored the paper. “That may be a step forward in reducing the partisan gap in public opinion on the subject.”

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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Global climate change