Data from: The Influence of Recent Weather on Perceptions of Personal Experience With Climate Change and Extreme Weather in New York State

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The general public’s perceptions of climate change may be shaped by local climate impacts through the mechanism of experiential processing. Although climate change is a long-term global trend, individuals personally experience it as weather from moment to moment. This study assesses how New York State adults’ overall perceptions of their personal experience with the effects of climate change and extreme weather (surveyed in early 2014) are related to recent weather conditions. This research is unique in that it examines multiple types of weather: temperature and precipitation, over one day or one week, quantified both as relative and non-relative measures. Respondents’ perceptions that they had personally experienced climate change or extreme weather significantly increased with warmer relative (percentage of normal) minimum temperatures on the day of the study. Maximum temperatures and total precipitation levels were not significant predictors of perceptions of personal experience, either on the day of the study or over the preceding week. Experiential processing had a smaller effect on perceptions than motivated reasoning, the influence of pre-existing ideas. Respondents who believed that climate change was happening agreed more that they had personally experienced it or extreme weather, and this effect increased for individuals who thought that climate change was anthropogenic, as opposed to naturally caused. Of the sociodemographic factors assessed here, political party, gender, and region were significant predictors, while age and education were not. This dataset supports the above work and conclusions.

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This data was collected through work funded by Federal Capacity (hatch) Funds from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

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Psychology; Environment; Climate impacts


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Fownes, J.R. and S.B. Allred. Testing the Influence of Recent Weather on Perceptions of Personal Experience With Climate Change and Extreme Weather in New York State. Wea. Climate Soc.

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Attribution 4.0 International



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