University of Oulu

Päivi Lujala & Haakon Lein (2020) The role of personal experiences in Norwegian perceptions of climate change, Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift - Norwegian Journal of Geography, 74:3, 138-151, DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2020.1731850

The role of personal experiences in Norwegian perceptions of climate change

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Author: Lujala, Päivi1,2; Lein, Haakon2
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, PL 8000, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-08-27


It is commonly assumed that personal experiences of a changing climate will influence people’s attitudes to the extent that they will be more likely to acknowledge anthropogenic climate change as a real threat and therefore be more willing to accept both mitigation and adaptation efforts. In the article, the authors examine how survey participants’ personal experiences of extreme events and climate-related changes in the natural environment influenced their perceptions of climate change. Using data from a nationally representative survey conducted in Norway in 2015 and the results of logistic regressions, the authors find that individual observations of changes in nature were linked to higher levels of concern with regard to climate change, as well as to attitudes that were more positive towards personal mitigation and adaption efforts. Somewhat counter-intuitively, they also find that participants who had personally experienced a natural hazard event were less concerned about climate change compared with participants without such experiences. The authors conclude that personal experience of the consequences of climate change may in some cases have a limited effect on enhancing people’s concerns about climate change.

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Series: Norsk geografisk tidsskrift. Norwegian journal of geography
ISSN: 0029-1951
ISSN-E: 1502-5292
ISSN-L: 0029-1951
Volume: 74
Issue: 3
Pages: 138 - 151
DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2020.1731850
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This work was supported by the Research Council of Norway (grant number: RCN 235490).
Copyright information: © 2020 Norwegian Geographical Society. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Norsk geografisk tidsskrift-norwegian journal of geography on 27 Feb 2020, available online: