Tag Archives: robert-gifford

Creating Effective Messages

Nature has published a short interview with psychologist Robert Gifford looking at the “interface between psychology and climate change”.

Noting the problem of pubic distrust of scientific messages that are delivered with uncertainty, Gifford proposes five elements of effective messages*:

  1. It has to have some urgency.
  2. It has to have as much certainty as can be mustered with integrity.
  3. There can’t be just one message: there must be messages targeted to different groups.
  4. Messages should be framed in positive terms. (Evidence from a recent thesis […] shows that people are less willing to change their behaviour if you tell them they have to make sacrifices. If you tell them they can be in the vanguard, be a hero, be the one that helps — that works.)
  5. You have to give people the sense that their vote counts and that their effort won’t be in vain.

This doesn’t apply just to messages on climate change, of course.

via Mind Hacks

*The original article has, since posting this, gone behind a paywall.