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Global Warming’s Six Americas: A Review

Global Warming’s Six Americas: A Review

Strategic communication requires the identification and understanding of target audiences for tailored communication. The Global Warming’s Six Americas analysis segments the U.S. public into six distinct audiences who each respond differently to the issue of climate change. The segments include the Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, and Dismissive. 

We first developed this framework in 2008 and have been studying and tracking changes in the groups for over a decade. The framework and segmentation approach has also been used to assess specialized audiences (e.g. broadcast meteorologists) and other countries (e.g. India, Australia, and Germany).

The article reviews how the Six Americas have changed over time, underlying theory, methodological innovations, and how the framework has informed the decision making of stakeholders ranging from scientists to government officials, journalists, educators, and advocates. We conclude by suggesting that future research should further develop and investigate the application of the Six Americas within the United States, while also developing tailored segmentations and related tools for other countries.

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