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Climate Activism: A Six-Americas Analysis, December 2020

2. Activism Efficacy

2.1. Americans are more confident they can influence local decision-makers than national decision-makers.

Perceived collective efficacy regarding global warming – the belief that like-minded citizens can work together to influence what government and business leaders do about global warming – is an important motivator for individuals to take collective action.Bandura, A. (2000). Exercise of human agency through collective efficacy. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9, 75-78. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00064 About half of Americans (51%) are at least “moderately confident” that people like them, working together, can affect what local businesses do about global warming. Four in ten or more are confident that people like them can affect what their local government (47%), their state government (46%), the federal government (43%), or corporations (43%) do about global warming.

Members of the Alarmed have the highest perceptions of collective efficacy, with six in ten or more expressing confidence that people like them can affect what various institutions do about global warming. The Concerned and Disengaged have more moderate perceptions of collective efficacy. The Doubtful and Dismissive have the lowest perceptions of collective efficacy regarding global warming, although that may be because the questions are less personally relevant to them.