“Too much information” on climate change triggers cognitive biases, claims leading Professor on United Renewables podcast

The growing volume of scientific data may actually create challenges in building public consensus on climate change, according to Andrew Likierman, Professor of Management at London Business School.

DOUGLAS, Isle of Man, June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- During his appearance on the latest episode of Conversations on Climate, the United Renewables podcast which focuses upon improving the quality of public discourse on the subject, Professor Likierman questioned the ‘more is better’ approach to climate communication.

‘It’s very tough, if one doesn’t know about the scientific basis, to cope with the pace of data around such a ‘complicated, fraught issue,’ he said. ‘There’s a superfluity of information – so I guess what most people would do, understandably, is to go back to the question of: who do I trust?’

Likierman – whose own research analyses the subject of judgement in corporate decision-making – connected these problems of information and trust to a range of cognitive biases identified by academic psychologists, including:

  • Confirmation bias: cherry-picking data or trusting intermediary authorities according to one’s existing beliefs
  • Proximity bias: over-valuing our immediate surroundings when forming judgements, and under-valuing information from geographically distant locations
  • Scepticism of ‘motivated information’ offered by emotionally-charged communicators

Christopher Caldwell, CEO of United Renewables and the host of Conversations on Climate, responded by asking Professor Likierman where he saw ‘optimism’ in humanity’s efforts to overcome these biases.

‘There’s the intergenerational issue. It’s all very well for us, but what about the children and grandchildren?

‘The actions you take now are lagged. My sense is that’s the route through which one can appeal, in a way that doesn’t conflict with popular biases,’ answered Professor Likierman.

United Renewables – a full-lifecycle developer of green energy projects in the UK – is committing its own resources to addressing climate communication, by partnering with the London Business School to create the Conversations on Climate podcast. The series invites leading thinkers to explain and challenge existing environmental narratives, with previous guests including Professor Michael Jacobides and Ramez Nasser.

The latest episode will be released on Friday 1st July 2022. The full video of the interview will be available on the United Renewables website along with all previous episodes.

Link: https://unitedrenewables.co.uk/resources

Contact details for news release

Company: United Renewables

Email: hunterandhawke@gmail.com

Tel: +447624457139

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/127dc12c-b3eb-4986-95c1-46a17e6dcc08

Chris Caldwell in conversation with Professor Likierman

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