Believing is seeing: Laypeople's views of future socio-economic and climate change in England and in Italy

Irene Lorenzoni, Mike Hulme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-cultural studies are particularly relevant in the context of climate change, given its pervasive character and the growing demand for climate change mitigation at both global and local levels. This paper reports on findings from comparative cross-cultural mixed-methods research eliciting perceptions of the future among citizens in Norwich (UK) and Rome (Italy). The paper explores how individuals at the two locations interpret socio-economic and climate scenarios, and how they relate environmental change to human behavior. Attitude segmentation was found to be similar in both localities. Although most participants in both locations realized the benefits of a future centered on sustainable resource use and societal welfare, individuals' attitudes and considerations about the future were not largely influenced by the scenarios. Discussions revealed that the credibility of the projections depended on individuals' prior beliefs and their trust in the science portrayed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-400
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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