First-person or third-person effects? Investigating the two-tier self-other perceptual disparities of global warming and their impacts

Hui-Ping Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global warming poses a major challenge to humankind. As the first and third person effects of media messages may influence audiences' behavior, this study fills the gap in the literature concerning third-person effect by examining different levels and exploring the perceived effects of global warming at both the individual and national levels. Results from a national survey in Taiwan (n = 1,074) reveal differential self-other perceptual disparities at these two levels. While the first-person effect is observed at the individual level, the third-person effect is observed at the national level. The first-person perception at the individual level positively predicts audiences' willingness to take proactive environmental action, but the third-person perception at the national level negatively predicts audiences' willingness to take promotional and proactive environmental actions. The findings suggest that more news coverage on mitigation policies and emission reduction activities at various sectors and levels may increase audiences' awareness to the phenomenon of climate change and encourage their engagement in proenvironmental behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-87
Number of pages47
JournalMass Communication Research
Volume2018-January
Issue number134
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Energy savings and carbon emission reduction
  • First-person effect
  • Global warming
  • Proenvironmental behavior
  • Third-person effect

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