Social representations of climate change in a group of college students from the University of Santiago de Compostela: common culture vs. scientific culture

Antonio García-Vinuesa, Pablo Ángel Meira Cartea, Mónica Arto Blanco, Kylyan M. Bisquert


College students are a sector of the population that is called to play a fundamental role in the future societies. This responsibility with and for society cannot obviate humanity's main challenge nowadays, the anthropogenic climate change. To this end, it is necessary to understand the climatic problem in all its dimensions, in order to propose and accept strategies and measures of adaptation and mitigation. In this paper we present a research on college students of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (N = 644). A closedend questionnaire was used to explore college students´ climate literacy level. Outcomes were compared according to academic discipline and year course. There were statistically significant differences in the distributions of responses (ANOVA) between areas of knowledge and of university degree fields. Nevertheless, in the case of comparing 1st year students with 4th year students there is not statistical significance. Outcomes suggest that most of the information with which college students build their representation of climate change comes from their stage in secondary education and experiences out of the educational system.

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