Jylhä, Kirsti Tam, Kim-Pong & Taciano L. Milfont | 2020
i: Social Psychology Of Climate Change: Special Issue
Despite the importance of overcoming the persistent delay in climate action, almost no research has investigated the psychological underpinnings of climate change denial in Asian countries. Addressing this research gap, our study compares results obtained in Hong Kong with those of samples from New Zealand and Sweden regarding correlations of climate change denial with acceptance of dominance between social groups (Social Dominance Orientation), acceptance of two additional forms of group‐based dominance (humans over nature, and humans over animals), and empathic concern. Results showed that only acceptance of human dominance over nature and animals predicted climate change denial in Hong Kong. In New Zealand and Sweden, however, the results resembled those found in previous research: The strongest predictor was Social Dominance Orientation, followed by acceptance of human dominance over nature. Low empathic concern predicted climate change denial only in Sweden. Results in Hong Kong differ from previous findings and indicate that climate change denial in this East Asian society is motivated more by hierarchical attitudes related to nature than social groups. We discuss possible reasons for these distinct findings and conclude that there is a need for cross‐cultural research to further investigate the psychological and culture‐specific motivations to dismiss climate change.