Does Climate Change Matter to Us? Knowledge, Attitudes, and Environmental Behavior

K Dopelt, N Davidovitch, O Loren, G Gapich

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background
Climate change is one of the greatest global threats to humanity in the 21st century, and it is directly or indirectly caused by human activity. In view of the effects of climate change, it is important to examine the level of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of the public. A better understanding of these variables should improve the current debate on the impact of human behavior on environment and health.
Methods
In a cross-sectional study using an online questionnaire, 704 students were asked about their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to climate change. The data were analyzed using correlations, independent t-tests, one-way ANOVA, and linear regression models.

Results
We found that students have a medium level of knowledge about the impact of climate change and that their attitudes are moderately pro-environmental, yet they are not strict about pro-environmental behavior. Students with higher levels of environmental knowledge demonstrated more pro-environmental attitudes and behavior, and attitudes mediate the relationship between level of knowledge and behavior. Women demonstrated more pro-environmental behavior than did men, and computer science and management students have the highest levels of knowledge, while health sciences students hold the most positive attitudes and more pro-environmental behavior.
Conclusions
Our results highlight the importance of raising awareness of the effects of climate change and increasing knowledge about how climate change can be mitigated. To this end, an introductory course on environmental science should be integrated into various academic study programs. Further research is needed in order to understand the factors associated with pro-environmental behavior and how to promote it.
Original languageEnglish
Pagesv558
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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