Risk Perception and Climate Change

Camille Boujassy

Student thesis: Master thesis


This research aims to understand the perceptions individuals have of their roles and limitations in the fight against climate change. The study background chapter should give the reader information about the critical timeframe in which this study is written, characterised by the new COP21 binding international agreement, and individuals taking actions around the world in artistic, legislative and purchasing manners. The literature review investigates risk perception in climate change, the roles of trust and laypeople misconceptions. The next part will aim to provide the reader with an understanding of mental models and of humans’ irrationality by looking into bias, heuristics as well as empathy. The research will take the form of a qualitative study, using semi-structured interviews with a sample of 12 young educated Europeans. The analysis will show that individuals do perceive climate change as a high but unpredictable risk. They perceive they have limitations to act, which governments could help fill in. The study shows that individuals perceive they have a role to play in the fight against climate change, but that government should take a lead in keeping them educated and motivated.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages68