Collective Efficacy Beliefs and the Greta Thunberg Effect

URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jasp.12737

This study indicates that high-profile public advocates like Greta Thunberg can shape collective efficacy beliefs and motivate collective action, but their effect is likely stronger among those with a shared political ideology.


Despite Greta Thunberg's popularity, research has yet to investigate her impact on the public's willingness to take collective action on climate change. Using cross-sectional data from a nationally representative survey of US adults (N=1,303) we investigate the "Greta Thunberg Effect," or whether exposure to Greta Thunberg predicts collective efficacy and intentions to engage in collective action. We find that those who are more familiar with Greta Thunberg have higher intentions of taking collective actions to reduce global warming and that stronger collective efficacy beliefs mediate this relationship. This association between familiarity with Greta Thunberg, collective efficacy beliefs, and collective action intentions is present even after accounting for respondents' overall support for climate activism. Moderated mediation models testing age and political ideology as moderators of the "Greta Thunberg Effect"indicate that although the indirect effect of familiarity with Greta Thunberg via collective efficacy is present across all age groups, and across the political spectrum, it may be stronger among those who identify as more liberal (than conservative). Our findings suggest that young public figures like Greta Thunberg may motivate collective action across the US public, but their effect may be stronger among those with a shared political ideology. 

Topics: Environment:, Climate change mitigation, Energy efficiency, Sustainable landscaping, Sustainable transportation, Water efficiency, Health Promotion, Environmental health, Pollution prevention, Sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation, Climate change adaptation, Clean Air
Location: US
Resource Type: strategies and interventions, consumer research
Publisher: Wiley
Date Last Updated: 2021-01-27 11:28:36

Search the Topic Resources

Click for Advanced Search »