Talking about Climate Change and Global Warming

Lineman, Maurice; Do, Yuno; Kim, Ji Yoon; Joo, Gea-Jae
September 2015
PLoS ONE;9/29/2015, Vol. 10 Issue 9, p1
Academic Journal
The increasing prevalence of social networks provides researchers greater opportunities to evaluate and assess changes in public opinion and public sentiment towards issues of social consequence. Using trend and sentiment analysis is one method whereby researchers can identify changes in public perception that can be used to enhance the development of a social consciousness towards a specific public interest. The following study assessed Relative search volume (RSV) patterns for global warming (GW) and Climate change (CC) to determine public knowledge and awareness of these terms. In conjunction with this, the researchers looked at the sentiment connected to these terms in social media networks. It was found that there was a relationship between the awareness of the information and the amount of publicity generated around the terminology. Furthermore, the primary driver for the increase in awareness was an increase in publicity in either a positive or a negative light. Sentiment analysis further confirmed that the primary emotive connections to the words were derived from the original context in which the word was framed. Thus having awareness or knowledge of a topic is strongly related to its public exposure in the media, and the emotional context of this relationship is dependent on the context in which the relationship was originally established. This has value in fields like conservation, law enforcement, or other fields where the practice can and often does have two very strong emotive responses based on the context of the problems being examined.


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