Authors

Mackenzie E. Smith '20, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2017

Department

Political Science

Abstract

Previous studies have produced conflicting results for the determining factors of acceptance or rejection of the science behind the global warming phenomenon; some cite religion as a hindrance to the acceptance of this scientific theory [Kilburn 2008], some conclude lack of education is the driving force [Brechin 2003], and some deduce that party affiliation plays the most significant role in determining belief in global warming. In this study, the National Election Survey of 2012 dataset, consisting of 5,916 individual data points from the United States of America, is analyzed to determine the effects of party affiliation on one’s belief in global warming, along with variables for education, religion, and age. The study was conducted using a logit model. The results conclude that religiosity and democratic affiliation had a significantly positive effect on one’s belief in global warming, while education had a significantly negative effect (p<0.01). Age did not have a significant effect. These unexpected results are worth continued consideration, with the inclusion of research into the characteristics of those labeled democrats versus republicans in this dataset, as these distinctions could point to a shift in the generally accepted definitions of the political parties.

Comments

This paper was written for Dr. Page's course, POL 215: Methods of Political Science, Fall 2017.

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