Concept Of "Purity" Makes Conservatives Care About Environmental Issues

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 12:30 in Biology & Nature

Jack D. Ripper via YouTubeRe-framing environmental rhetoric so it appeals to conservatives can really work, a study finds. It's not that political conservatives don't care about things like climate change, recycling and deforestation--it's that they don't care about it the same way liberals do. True, they tend to be less concerned about it at first, but when you give them the right messages, they do care. If environmental issues are couched as defending the Earth's purity and sanctity, that is. Reframing rhetoric in a way that speaks to conservatives can reduce partisanship, according to a series of five studies by psychologists at the University of California-Berkeley and at Stanford University. They set out to test a hypothesis that conservatives would respond to ideas like patriotism, purity and "reverence for a higher authority," as explained in a Cal news release. They especially focused on the purity aspect. Matthew Feinberg, the lead author and...

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