Research published in British Journal of Political Science: Beliefs about the climate beliefs of others

Research by Matto Mildenberger was just published in the British Journal of Political Science. The article, entitled "Beliefs about climate beliefs: the importance of second-order opinions for climate politics" was co-authored with Dustin Tingley.

The research examines how political participation depends on an individual’s perceptions of others’ beliefs. The article provides the first comprehensive survey of Chinese and American beliefs about the climate belief of others, drawing from six new opinion surveys of mass publics, political elites and intellectual elites.

The research finds that all types of political actors have beliefs characterized by egocentric bias: people who believe in climate change assume more people agree with them; people who disbelieve climate change assume the same.  Both climate change believers and disbelievers also underestimate the share of the US or Chinese publics that believe climate change is happening and support various climate policies.

The article also shows experimentally that individual support for pro-climate policies increases after respondents learn about the true distribution of other peoples' climate beliefs.

You can read the full research article here.