Perception Versus Skepticism—An Environmental Communication Issue and Climate Change

C. House, N. L. Jordan, T. E. Butt, J. Kwan, A. Alam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


‘Perception’ plays an influential role in policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring. It varies between individuals, communities, and administrative levels, and in degrees of importance. Furthermore, perception can be good or bad, positive or negative, yes or no, right or wrong, belief or disbelief, or even true or false. In parallel to perception, ‘skepticism’ is referred to in literature and practice, and is a corollary to understanding human interaction in environmental communication. A review of the perception-associated literature and anecdotes collected from researchers and practitioners reveals that there is no clear definition of the remit of these two terms. At least not when it comes down to research and its application in controversial topics and scenarios cropping from sustainable development and climate change, which are two of the most multi- and interdisciplinary fields in their own individual right. The purpose of the paper is to identify and propose the definitional boundaries between perception and skepticism in a systematic manner, and propose a conceptual model in the form of a schematic. Based on illustrative case studies, the paper also paves a path for further research areas in which the conceptual model can be applied to real-world scenarios for testing and sensitivity analysis, whereas such scenarios can come from the multi- and interdisciplinary fields of sustainability and climate change. This way, the environmental communication can be rendered more effective and efficient between diverse and wide range of stakeholders, particularly including decision makers. The paper also concludes that skepticism is relatively a newer term as opposed to perception needing to be carefully employed and, not confused and readily interchangeably used with perception.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Sustainability Science and Research
EditorsWalter Leal Filho
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783319630076
ISBN (Print)9783319630069
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventWorld Symposium on Sustainability Science and Research: Implementing the 2030 United Nations (UN) Agenda for Sustainable Development - Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Apr 20177 Apr 2017

Publication series

NameHandbook of Sustainability Science and Research
ISSN (Print)2199-7373
ISSN (Electronic)2199-7381


ConferenceWorld Symposium on Sustainability Science and Research
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Perception Versus Skepticism—An Environmental Communication Issue and Climate Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this