APPENDIX

Three Examples of Opening Responses in Mental-Model Interviews on Climate Change

EXAMPLE 1

Interviewer: I'd like you to tell me all about the issue of climate change.

Subject: Climate change. Do you mean global warming?

Interviewer: Climate change.

Subject: OK. Let's see. What do I know. The earth is getting warmer because there are holes in the atmosphere and this is global warming and the green-house effect. Um … I really don't know very much about it, but it does seem to be true. The temperatures do seem to be kind of warm in the winters. They do seem to be warmer than in the past … and … hmm … That's all I know about global warming.

EXAMPLE 2

Interviewer: Tell me all about the issue of climate change.

Subject: I'm pretty interested in it … The ice caps are melting—the hole in the ozone layer. They think pollution from cars and aerosol cans are the cause of all that. I think the space shuttle might have something to do with it too, because they always send that up through the earth, to get out in outer space. So I think that would have something to do with it, too.

EXAMPLE 3

Interviewer: Tell me all about the issue of climate change.

Subject: Climate change? Like, what about it? Like, as far as the ozone layer and ice caps melting, water level raising, rain forest going down, oxygen going down because of that? All of that kind of stuff?

Interviewer: Anything else?

Subject: Well, erosion all over the place. Um, topsoils going down into everywhere. Fertilizer poisoning.

Interviewer: Anything else that comes to mind related to climate change?

Subject: Climate change. Winter's ain't like they used to be. Nothing's as severe. Not as much snow. Nothing like that.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement