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Environmental attitudes and behavior

At the Department of Sociology, we conduct research about public opinion and behaviors related to the environment and climate change. Our research is primarily based on analyses of survey data, where for example public views about climate change and climate policy are studied from different perspectives.


Over the past decades, environmental problems such as the emission of greenhouse gasses and global warming have emerged as some of the greatest challenges facing human societies. Within this research area, we study how people’s attitudes and behaviors towards the environment and climate change are related to different explanatory factors at both the societal and individual level. Several research projects at the department have a cross-national focus and use large international surveys such as the European Social Survey (ESS) and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). Some projects collect unique survey data and use survey experiments to study research questions that cannot be answered using existing international surveys.

In this research area, we are interested in research questions such as:

  • How is it that relatively few people are willing to change their behaviors and support climate policies even though they are aware and concerned about climate change?
  • What is the role of political ideology and partisanship in the formation of people’s environmental and climate change attitudes and behaviors?
  • Can we decouple economic growth from emissions and what do people think about this issue?
  • What is the significance of social dilemmas and lack of trust in explaining opposition to climate policies?
  • To what extent can the institutions in different societies be linked to public engagement in climate change and other environmental issues?
  • How can we design climate policies with broad public support?
Latest update: 2022-11-14