26-28 March 2018
Stuttgart, Germany
Europe/Berlin timezone

Mini Symposium 7

Reflexion and Contextualisation


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

11:00am - 12:30pm

Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Pfaffenwaldring 47

Room 47.05



World Climate“: Can role-play with interactive simulations enhance climate change
knowledge, affect and intent to act?

Florian Kapmeier, Universität Reutlingen

There is an urgent need for communication tools that offer scientifically rigorous information while motivating informed action on climate change. Conventional communication approaches have largely failed to close the gap between scientific and public understanding of the threats posed by climate inaction. Indeed, research shows that showing people research is not effective. Here, we describe the impact of a new approach to climate communication: a simulation-based roleplay that combines a social, engaging role-play of climate decision-making with an interactive computer model that provides immediate feedback on the expected outcomes of those decisions. In particular, we analyze the impact of the World Climate simulation, in which participants take on the roles of delegates to the UN climate negotiations and are challenged to create an agreement that meets international goals.  Their decisions are entered into the peer-reviewed interactive computer model C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support) that provides immediate feedback about the resulting climate impacts. Thus, participants explore the climate system through the C-ROADS model while experiencing the social dynamics of decision-making through role-play. Results showed significant gains in climate change knowledge, affect, intent to take action, and desire to learn. Results show feedback between gains in affective engagement, particularly feelings of urgency, and gains in knowledge about climate change. Gains in urgency, but not knowledge, were associated with gains in intent to act and desire to learn more. Gains were just as strong among participants who oppose government regulation, suggesting the simulation’s potential to reach across political divides. These findings show that simulations like World Climate offer a climate change communication tool that enables people to learn and feel for themselves, which together have the potential to motivate action informed by science.


Postertrack contributions:

Tom Poljansek (PP7.129), Maximilian Happach & Meike Tilebein (PP7.130).

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