Exploring the Role of Future Perspective in Predicting Turkish University Students’ Beliefs About Global Climate Change

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Abstract

Recent studies indicate that limited understanding about causes and its potential impacts of climate change and fault beliefs by people across different countries of the world including Turkey is a real challenge. Acceptance of climate change as a real threat, believing its existence, and knowing causes and consequences are very significant for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Therefore, exploring underlying factors shaping or affecting beliefs of people is needed for designing educational interventions for a change in individuals’ attitudes and behaviours. The main purpose of the present study was to explore how and to what extent future time perspective, perceived knowledge about global climate change, and environmental attitudes explain the university students’ beliefs about occurrence, causes and consequences of GCC. A quantitative research was conducted with the participation of one thousand, five hundred and eighty undergraduate students (n=1580) of METU and the data was gathered through Future Perspective Related Beliefs about Global Climate Change Scale. The study findings suggested that ecocentric attitude and perceived knowledge are mainly two influential factors for the undergraduate students’ beliefs about global climate change. Future time perspective’s contribution although low, was found to be significant in beliefs about GCC. The results of this study would shed light to evaluate and improve educational programs and curriculum in higher education, and can be a guide because Turkish literature does not serve any research that seek students’ future time perspective related to global climate change.

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