Anna Klas, Edward Clarke, Mathew Ling. Employing National Identity Loss Frames as a way to Increase Climate Change Action across the Political Spectrum

Society for Australasian Social Psychologists

Given the politically polarising nature of climate change in Australia, there is a need to develop persuasive messages that encourage individuals across the political spectrum to engage in climate change action. One such frame that may prove effective is a national identity loss frame. This involves emphasising how climate change will negatively impact the natural icons that are important to Australia’s national identity (e.g. Great Barrier Reef) – something that both conservatives and liberals value. To test this idea, we conducted an online 2 (political orientation – liberal, conservative) x 3 (economic loss, national identity loss, control) experimental study. Participants were 678 Australian residents between the ages of 18-86 (Mage = 45.46, SDage = 16.89, Male = 368). Data was collected via the market research firm PureProfile. Preliminary results indicated that neither a national identity loss frame nor an economic loss frame, when compared to control, were effective in increasing participants intention to engage in climate change actions. Instead, political ideology contributed to climate change action, with right-leaning Australians less likely to take part in climate change mitigation and adaptation behaviours regardless of the frame they received. Exploratory analysis and implications of these results for climate change communication will be discussed.