Examining the relationship between physical vulnerability and public perceptions of global climate change in the United States Academic Article uri icon


  • Although there is a growing body of research examining public perceptions of global climate change, little work has focused on the role of place and proximity in shaping these perceptions. This study extends previous conceptual models explaining risk perception associated with global climate change by adding a spatial dimension. Specifically, Geographic Information Systems and spatial analytical techniques are used to map and measure survey respondents' physical risk associated with expected climate change. Using existing spatial data, multiple measures of climate change vulnerability are analyzed along with demographic, attitudinal, and social contextual variables derived from a representative national survey to predict variation in risk perception. Bivariate correlation and multivariate regression analyses are used to identify and explain the most important indicators shaping individual risk perception. Analysis of the data suggests that the relationship between actual and perceived risk is driven by specific types of physical conditions and experiences.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Brody, S. D., Zahran, S., Vedlitz, A., & Grover, H.

citation count

  • 378

complete list of authors

  • Brody, Samuel D||Zahran, Sammy||Vedlitz, Arnold||Grover, Himanshu

publication date

  • January 2008