Anthony Leiserowitz

Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC)

Research Overview

I am a geographer trained in the cognitive and social psychology of risk perception and decision making. My research is strongly interdisciplinary and seeks to understand the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that shape human environmental perception, decision making and behavior.

Much of my research examines how human decision makers (individuals, groups and entire societies) perceive climate change risks, what mitigation and adaptation policies they support or oppose, and what actions they have or are willing to take to address this risk. Current projects include:

a) Climate Change in the American Mind  We conduct twice-a-year national surveys of Americans’ climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior and publish widely circulated and cited reports and scientific papers on the findings. 

b) Global Warming's Six Americas. We have identified, analyzed and described six unique publics in the U.S. that respond to climate change in very different ways: the Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, and Dismissive.  

c) Yale Climate Opinion Maps. We have built, validated, and released a statistical model that "downscales" our national survey results and accurately estimates key indicators of public understanding and policy support in all 50 states, 435 Congressional districts, 3,000+ counties, and individual cities across the nation. 

d) International Attitudes & Behavior We have conducted studies in collaboration with researchers in China, India, Israel, Spain, Canada, Malta, the UK and with the Gallup World Poll - an annual global survey conducted in 120+ countries representing 95% of the world's population.

e) The Yale-Associated Press-NORC Environment Poll. In partnership with the AP and NORC, we conduct national surveys on public opinion and behavior regarding critical environmental issues.

f) Yale Climate Connections. Online since 2007, Yale Climate Connections is a nonpartisan, multimedia news service providing twice-daily broadcasts on more than 230 radio stations nationwide, and original online reporting, commentary, and analysis on the issue of climate change, one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.