In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Jon Krosnick, a university fellow at Resources for the Future and a professor at Stanford University. Krosnick discusses key takeaways from the Climate Insights 2020 survey, part of an ongoing project which asks Americans about climate change and maps how their attitudes have changed over the years. Notably, Krosnick finds that a majority of Americans have consistently believed in global warming and that a growing minority say that the issue is extremely personally important. Rebutting the conventional argument that environmental concerns are a “luxury good,” Krosnick also concludes that the coronavirus pandemic and the movement for racial justice have not reduced public concern about climate change.
Listen to the Podcast
- Recent crises haven’t diverted attention from climate change: “The [luxury good] hypothesis in its core form is … when Americans want government to be focused on solving huge problems—the coronavirus, the economic crash, race relations, and so on—maybe people think it’s less important to work on environmental problems … The amazing thing that we see in the survey is a resounding ‘no’ to that [theory]. The answer is that all of the disruption in the country that we’ve seen over the last four to five months has led to no change in [attitudes towards climate change].” (15:15)
- Belief in global warming has remained steady over time: “Four in five American adults believe that the planet is warmer now than it was 100 years ago, and that number has been remarkably consistent over the last 25 years. In 1997, for example, it was 77 percent.” (18:01)
- A quarter of Americans now see climate change as personally urgent: “One in four Americans now call this issue [of climate change] extremely personally important to them. That’s huge. Those people will not only be voting based on the issue, but they’ll be giving money to lobbying groups, they’ll be attending rallies, they’ll be making phone calls and sending letters to elected representatives, and they’ll be reading and learning and talking about the issue … That passionate group has grown dramatically and will [have] an important impact on this election.” (21:43)
Top of the Stack
- Climate Insights 2020: Surveying American Public Opinion on Climate Change and the Environment by Jon A. Krosnick and Bo MacInnis
- Climate Insights data tool
- The Rational Public by Benjamin I. Page and Robert Y. Shapiro
- Uninformed by Arthur Lupia
The Full Transcript
Kristin Hayes: Welcome to Resources Radio, a weekly podcast from Resources for the Future. I'm your host, Kristin Hayes. My guest today is Jon Krosnick, the Frederic O. Glover professor in humanities and social sciences, professor of communication, political science, and psychology at Stanford University, where he directs the Political Psychology Research Group. That's right, Jon has appointments in not one, but three university departments. I'm pleased to note that he is also an RFF University Fellow, and in his spare time he is a professional jazz drummer in his band, the Charged Particles. But during the day, Jon is a social psychologist who does research on attitude formation, change, and effects; on the psychology of political behavior; and on survey research methods. He's authored 10 books and more than 210 articles and chapters in addition to op-ed essays. And he's won several awards for his work in political psychology and survey research methods and public opinion.
RFF has worked with Jon for a number of years on his work related to surveying American public opinion on global warming. We were thrilled to partner with him and several other key partners again this year. Today's discussion will focus on the overall trends and the findings from the 2020 Climate Insights survey, but given how rich those findings are, I know we'll leave people wanting more. So, once we whet your appetites, feel free to go to rff.org/climateinsights to check out our interactive web tool that shows a tremendous number of results in robust detail. Stay with us.
Jon, thank you so much for joining us here on Resources Radio. It's nice to talk to you.
Jon Krosnick: Great pleasure, Kristin. Thank you for having me.
Kristin Hayes: Of course. There is so much to cover in our conversation today, and I really do want to get right to the meat of it, but I want to quickly start with our usual introductions and ask you to tell us just a little bit more about your own background and how you started working on surveys, particularly those related to climate change.
Jon Krosnick: Well, my PhD is in social psychology from the University of Michigan. And when I was an undergraduate at Harvard, I worked with a social psychologist there, Chick Judd, who was very interested in applying theories of attitude formation and change to study politics. So, when I went to graduate school, I continued to learn and develop skills and an understanding of the literature in that arena, and I took a faculty position at Ohio State University. A few years after I got there, I got a phone call from a group in Boston—Industrial Economics—inviting me to come to a conference that they were holding on global warming. And I said, "What's that?" I literally didn't know what it was. I think this might have been about 1994. And so, they said, "Don't worry, once you get here, we'll tell you about it."
It was a group of about 20 social scientists who had been invited. The first half a day was tutoring by an MIT climate scientist, teaching us about what had been happening to the earth's climate. And it ended up that the purpose of the discussion was to find out people's thoughts about how to understand the American public's potential reactions to this issue and to offer some research money to investigate it. So, at the end of the two days of meetings, we were all asked, "Would anybody like to take some money to study climate change opinions?" I put up my hand, and Danny Kahneman, who eventually won the Nobel Prize in economics, also put up his hand. The two of us then went off in our own directions studying this.
Once I started to do national surveys, I was flabbergasted by the fact that the American public was way ahead of me on this issue that I hadn't heard about it, but many other people had and had formulated opinions that were intriguing and surprising in light of the public opinion research in political science and psychology. I was pretty quickly addicted, and I think we've done more than 25 expensive national surveys over the last 25 years on the topic. I feel very privileged in doing this work to have been partnering with Ray Kopp and Resources for the Future. All along, you all have made the work better, and I'm very delighted that we have another opportunity today to unveil the new collaboration that we've put together.
Kristin Hayes: That's great. So, we are here today to talk primarily about the 2020 Climate Insights survey. I know that's had other names over the years. You told us a little bit about the genesis of your thinking about surveys on climate change. But I'm curious about this one in particular and how the process of putting it together has changed over the years in which you've been undertaking this effort.
Jon Krosnick: The process of being a long-term survey researcher has an interesting set of dilemmas built into it. When you design the first survey, you're just thinking about that one. You're not thinking, “Gee, I'm probably going to do 24 more of these over the next 25 years.” So, you're just taking it one step at a time. And for us, what we were interested in was, number one, learning what natural scientists believed about climate change at that time in the mid 1990s, and then gauging what Americans' opinions were on those very same issues. Essentially, we were finding out the degree to which Americans were on the same page with the natural scientists. And even though natural science expertise and knowledge has grown since 1995, as we've seen in, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that have been evolving over time—maturing, getting richer and more detailed—the truth is that climate scientists, even in the 1990s, believed pretty much what they believe now about the basics of this issue. And what surprised me in the beginning was that Americans were in large margins on the same page with those climate science experts.
Designing each subsequent survey involved really two sets of decisions. Number one, we had to decide which of the prior measures that we had asked in the original survey were we going to repeat now, because obviously one of the great values of any long-term research program is to study how public opinion changes. But in addition, we are always trying to think about what kinds of new perspectives we can take on the issue—what kinds of new questions we can ask, new types of opinions we can explore. And there's always a tension, because you have a certain amount of money, and each dollar is going to be spent on another question being asked of another respondent. So, you have a fixed budget and you can only interview so many people, and you can only ask them so many questions. And the more old questions you repeat, the fewer new questions you can invent and ask.
But we were very lucky with this new survey to go into partnership with ReconMR, which is the survey interviewing firm that did the telephone calls for us. This survey, by the way, is state of the art, random digit dial telephone interviewing with a random sample of American adults—landlines and cell phones—and human interviewers. The data collection process is a very complex one with carefully monitored and trained interviewers. And ReconMR came to the table providing great expertise, but they also decided to be very generous to join us as a partner and to allow us to lengthen the questionnaire more than might otherwise have been the case. That allowed this particular survey to be the longest one we've ever done, to go into more depth, and to explore more options, more issues, more perspectives, and more questions than we ever have before.
Kristin Hayes: That's great. So, what new questions did you add for 2020? And I think one of the most intriguing topics is why those things? There are so many questions you could have added, but how did you use that additional, but still limited, space for new questions, and why those particular topics?
Jon Krosnick: Well, one interesting direction in this particular study came from our collaboration with the New York Times. We've been in close contact with their climate experts and have evolved this questionnaire partly in collaboration with them. One of the interesting directions for their coverage of climate in recent months has been a focus on very substantial change in federal government policy with regard to emissions. In various ways, through a combination of executive orders from the White House and from policy changes in the Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there have been a variety of different types of scaling back of government restrictions on emissions, on use of fossil fuels such as coal for electricity generation, and so on. This administration has been clear in its support for traditional forms of energy generation. And that's interesting because in one of our recent surveys—I think it was 2015—we asked respondents a very simple set of questions.
We said, "Okay, we're going to describe to you a series of different ways that electricity can be made. And for each one, please tell me whether you think it's generally a good idea, bad idea, or neither good nor bad." And what we found was really quite striking. Something like 90 percent of Americans said they thought using coal to make electricity was a bad idea. And something like 90 percent of Americans said they thought making electricity from sunlight was a good idea. What you could see is that there was a kind of gradient of positive opinions moving from the greenest and most renewable being sunlight to coal that was perceived as perhaps the lowest in cost, but nonetheless the most damaging to the environment. With that in mind, it's interesting that recent government policy and lots of news coverage the Times has focused on this administration's decision to move more in the direction of what Americans might think of as more electricity generation from what they would call bad sources.
We asked a series of questions about Americans’ opinions on those very policy issues. Should the United States back out of the Paris Accord, which is of course, a voluntary treaty designed to reduce national emissions? Should the government reduce its own emissions over time? Not the country's emissions, but the government's emissions. And other questions like that, touching on topics where President Trump has backed out of restrictions that were in place. We explored Americans' opinions on those issues. We've also looked at a variety of other new perspectives on policy, many of them coming from the Times' coverage of these issues related to climate change. And we're going to be releasing the results of those questions slowly over the coming weeks and months.
Kristin Hayes: Great. That's a good teaser for our listeners to come back and continue to engage with this. I do want to talk about one of the primary findings at the center of this first report that's been released. And, of course, the survey is taking place in the middle of a pandemic alongside a racial reckoning in the United States and elsewhere. Intuitively, one might think that this might affect how people think about anything other than the current crises. So, we're kind of laser-focused on these large-scale societal issues right now. Maybe that crowds out room to think about things that seem longer-term like climate change. So, I want to ask you as a start for talking about the findings, what do we know about whether concern about climate change is a quote-unquote, "luxury good," something that people can only think about when they have mental space to do so? And what did this particular survey tell us about American prioritization of climate change as compared to these other major issues?
Jon Krosnick: Well, Kristin, exactly as you described, the literature has in it this hypothesis that perhaps environmental concern is a luxury good. The notion here comes partly from Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation in psychology. Many people learned about his hierarchy of needs in their introductory psychology classes in college. What Maslow posited is that we are all in the business of need satisfaction. And if you think of those needs as a pyramid, as is often used to represent his ideas, at the bottom are the very basic needs of survival.
So, you need food and water. You need shelter. You need safety. And the proposal that Maslow made is that until those needs are satisfied, we don't have the flexibility as human beings to pursue higher-order needs. And higher-order needs might include self-esteem, social connectedness, and social relations. The proposal here is that once you get past satisfying self-esteem and social relations and connectedness, then you have the luxury of pursuing goals like, for example, seeing to it that the planet is taken care of. Only after you're taken care of, says the theory, will you worry about the planet being taken care of.
In the literature on these ideas, there is conflicting evidence. There are some studies that have suggested that people who are suffering economically are particularly likely to reduce the importance that they attach to environmental protection. There are other studies that find exactly the opposite and other studies that have found no relation between economic suffering and the seriousness that people attach to environmental threats or their support for addressing them. So really, the literature is mixed. And the literature is filled with what we call observational data. In other words, there are no experiments. A study might compare 45 countries, some of which are wealthy and some of which aren't and look at whether they differ in the importance they attach to environmental issues.
But the strongest evidence that we can generate in science is evidence of causality seen from experiments or, in this case, a natural experiment. Aas horrible as the virus is, as horrible as the economic crash that America has experienced, as a disruptive and powerful as the recent concerns about race relations are, those all happening at once offer us an opportunity to conduct what might be thought of as an interrupted time series design, looking at whether public attitudes about climate change, support for government action, the priority that they attached to all this might have gone down as a result of all that. In other words, the simple version of this hypothesis is that the more people are suffering, the more people are worried about survival—their very health under threat from the virus.
All of that can be thought of as an intervention designed to allow us to find out, have Americans backed away from this issue? The hypothesis in its core form is as follows: when Americans want government to be focused on solving huge problems like the coronavirus, the economic crash, race relations, and so on, maybe people think it's less important to work on environmental problems. Maybe people are less supportive of government action to work on environmental problems. Maybe people are less willing to pay money to solve environmental problems, probably because they simply don't have the money the way they used to. Maybe, when people find themselves unable or unwilling to support remediation. Maybe they are inclined to deny that there's a problem there in the first place.
And the amazing thing that we see in the survey is a resounding “no” to that question. The answer is that all of the disruption in the country that we've seen over the last four to five months has led to no change in the downward direction in anything that we've measured in this survey. In fact, we see record highs in a number of the large majorities we've been watching for quite some time. Absolutely no evidence that Americans can't walk and chew gum at the same time. In other words, Americans are, of course, deeply, passionately concerned about solving this virus problem, solving the economic crisis, and improving race relations in the country, but that means nothing about people walking away from climate change as a problem. We are versatile enough that right now we can think about the virus, and one minute later, we can also think about climate change. The crowding out isn't nearly as dramatic as people might think it is sometimes.
Kristin Hayes: Interesting. It's great to talk to a psychologist too, because it's such a nice perspective to have on these issues. We know, Jon, it is almost impossible for us to cover all the findings in this survey, simply because there are so many and they are so rich, but I do want to at least offer some highlights, and in particular, focusing on the general trends information that you've been developing over a number of years. So, I'm going to open up the floor and ask you to talk our listeners through what we should know about the findings from this year's survey, as well as how they compare to previous years.
Jon Krosnick: I can do that. So, let me just hit a few of the high points now, knowing that listeners and interested experts will get regular doses from us over the next weeks and months. We'll be releasing little bits of these findings gradually because there's just so much in the pile right now. First, I'm going to set the stage as follows. A fundamental question that we've asked about over the years has been just simply whether Americans think the planet has been warming or not. In the new survey in 2020, the answer is that 81 percent of Americans believe that. Four in five American adults believe that the planet is warmer now than it was 100 years ago. And that number has been remarkably consistent over the last 25 years. In 1997, for example, it was 77 percent, almost as high as that 81.
And so I think it merits just a pause for a moment, because we're so inclined to think about this country as divided 50-50 on so many issues. Elections are won by tiny margins in some cases, Al Gore in 2000 lost the presidency in Florida by way less than one percentage point. So, the idea that we can agree on anything might seem surprising, and yet here's an issue where we do. 81 percent of Americans—that's Democrats, independents, and Republicans—agree on that. In addition, when we ask people, “Do you think the earth's temperature will go up over the next 100 years if nothing is done to stop it?” 76 percent of Americans said yes to that question. And one of the most striking, consistent trends over time over these years of our doing the survey is that Americans are now more confident, more certain of their opinions.
Back in 1997, only 45 percent of Americans said that they were extremely sure or very sure about whether the planet was warming. And what we see now is that of those people who believe the planet has been warming, 63 percent of them, just about 20 percentage points more are in that high certainty group. And that's been a very consistent increase over time. So, we're seeing not only that the number of Americans who believe in the existence of climate change has remained very high, but their confidence or certainty has gone up a great deal as well. 82 percent of people in 2020 believe that that warming is attributable to human action. That's, again, a huge number. When we ask people whether this will be a threat in the future for the United States, 80 percent of our respondents said so in 2020. That's almost the same as 83 percent who said so in 2006 when we first asked this question. Even more, 82 percent of Americans in 2020 said that this will be a serious problem for the world.
Those just give you a couple of the fundamental findings. There are many more of those. But these kinds of huge majorities actually appear in addition in support for some government policies. Maybe the most important statement about policy is that a huge number of Americans support the government's involvement in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. And when they express that point of view, they back it up by opinions on specific policies that we'll be talking about in later releases from the survey. But the last finding I'll mention is just one that is maybe the most important for this upcoming election, that voting based on climate change happens in a small group of Americans who are the people we call the issue public, the passionate people who wake up every morning, look across the pillow, smile, and say, “Good morning, global warming. Another day, another opportunity for me to do something about you.” These are people who are psychologically married to the issue.
And that group in America is bigger than it has ever been in the last 25 years. 25 percent—one in four Americans—now call this issue extremely personally important to them. That's huge. Those people will not only be voting based on the issue, but they'll be giving money to lobbying groups, they’ll be attending rallies, they'll be making phone calls and sending letters to elected representatives, and they'll be reading and learning and talking about the issue. And they are more than 90 percent on the green side of the issue, meaning they believe it's a problem and it should be addressed. That's an important headline from this survey. That passionate group has grown dramatically and will be having an important impact on this election.
Kristin Hayes: That's fascinating. Can you put some numbers on that, Jon? What kind of growth are we talking about when it comes to that climate change-focused issue public? And how does that percentage or percentage of committed passionate voters compare to other issues that we talk about or hear about a lot in the political discussion?
Jon Krosnick: In 1997 when we first started measuring issue public membership, we found that only 9 percent of Americans attached a great deal of personal importance to the issue. That grew to between 15 and 17 percent or so in the first 10 years of this century. But the last few surveys have shown the biggest jump. 13 percent were in the passionate group in 2015. That increased to 20 percent in 2018, and now it's at 25 percent. And that 25 percent is especially remarkable when I tell you that that issue public is bigger than the issue publics for very long-standing, very controversial and passion-inducing issues in this country, including gun control, capital punishment, women's rights, race relations, and so on. The issue publics for those long standing issues, helping poor people, for example, 21 percent; gun control, 17 percent; military spending, 16 percent; capital punishment, 14 percent. Each of those issues are a typical of issue publics. What's unusual is that climate change would get as big as 25 percent. And that is, by our standards, huge. That is one quarter of more than 200 million Americans. That's more than 50 million Americans who are passionate about this issue. That's remarkable.
Kristin Hayes: Fascinating. Jon, I feel we've used our conversation so far to focus on where things have changed or solidified, but I guess I want to take a moment to ask you about trends that haven't changed all that much over the time that you've been conducting these surveys, and what we can learn from that. Because I do feel that's as interesting a learning in some sense as the things that have in fact changed. For example, I'm looking at a set of results related to the percent of Americans who believe that global warming will be a very or somewhat serious problem for the United States. From the data I have, it looks like this question was asked for the first time in 2006. It was asked again this summer, and the percentages are quite high, as you noted. Four out of five people feel that is a very or somewhat serious problem for the United States. But it really hasn't changed. It hasn't grown substantially between 2006 and 2020.
So, my question to you is where there are instances where these trends have been fairly stable, what can we learn from those, and in particular, does that say something? I personally feel climate change is much more in the public dialogue than it was in 2006. And so what does that tell us about the efficacy of the coverage and the education and the engagement in climate change in general? That's a very big question. Feel free to pick off any part of that that you would like, but what can we learn from what's been stable too?
Jon Krosnick: Yeah, a wonderful question that highlights a very important point about the American public. That is exactly right for those listening. If they could see the graph that we're looking at, they would know that the percent of Americans who have said that global warming is a serious problem for the United States has remained extraordinarily high and very stable over a time period when literally hundreds of millions of dollars went into lobbying efforts to try to move that number. Some of that money was trying to convince Americans to become more concerned about climate change. Some of that money was spent to try to convince Americans to become less motivated and concerned about climate change. In addition, during the time period from 1997 to the present, when we've been studying these opinions, lots of other types of events have happened that you might imagine would also change public views.
Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth and then the sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel came out highlighting climate science. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and illustrated the powerful impact that serious storms can have. There have been wildfires across the country. In fact, a wildfire is burning not far from my home today as we speak. Hurricane Sandy hit New York City and the east coast in ways that illustrated the dramatic impact that weather can have. And many climate scientists believe that all of this and more, as well as coastal flooding and other events that are occurring, will happen more and be more serious as a result of climate change.
So, how can it be that all of that stuff is happening and yet Americans’ opinions are staying so stable over time? The answer is that actually this stability is a very much core characteristic of American public opinion. That Americans, when they form opinions on publicly discussed issues, are very rarely moving around in response to short-term events. That this kind of stability that we see on this issue is typical of so many issues. Bob Shapiro, a political scientist at Columbia University published a very important book called The Rational Public, which highlighted this brilliantly. He gathered together a huge number of national surveys done over decades and showed that on many, many issues—issues that we might think of as ones that are susceptible to opinion change—opinion change happens very slowly, if at all.
And I'll give you just one illustration of this. Today, most Americans believe that cigarette smoking is dangerous to human health. That number is in excess of 90 percent, but that number was less than 50 percent in the 1950s and early 1960s. How did we get from less than 50 percent to more than 90 percent? We got there very slowly. If you look at the graphs of how public opinion changed, it was just a little bit each year. Lots of things happened. The surgeon general issued a report in 1964 from the federal government announcing that cigarette smoking was dangerous. Did Americans all of a sudden wake up say, “Ooh, I guess the Surgeon General said it, so I should change my opinion”? No. People are, for the most part, solidified into their views, and big events have very little impact.
We certainly have some exceptions. Gay marriage is one of them. Gay marriage is an issue that was not particularly popular. Then, within a few short years, a majority of Americans endorsed that being a legal opportunity, but that's the exception rather than the rule. What we see from the stability that you asked about, Kristin, is that the pattern we would expect to see on public opinion on other issues appears here on this issue as well. It's not easy to move people from their points of view.
Kristin Hayes: Very interesting. I feel that's a good lead into my next question for you as well. I'll see if I can tie them together well. As you mentioned at the outset, I think there were 999 individuals who were pulled in the survey, is that right?
Jon Krosnick: They were, we got very close to 1,000, and then we ran out of time.
Kristin Hayes: So, these 999 individuals were Americans and they were adults. They were of voting age. And so we talked a little bit about the interplay between these issues and voting behavior in particular. But I wanted to ask you what demand signals or voter preferences does this survey demonstrate? We've seen some stability, we just talked about sometimes the pace of change on some of these voter preferences is very slow, but what other key takeaways could the survey results provide for candidates who are running for office, for people who are trying to develop policy platforms to address climate change. What can the decisionmaker take away from this?
Jon Krosnick: Well, two things. First of all, it's certainly true that the issue public, as I've said, are the people who will vote based on this issue, and they are overwhelmingly what I would call green on the issue. They are overwhelmingly people who believe in the existence and the threat of climate change. So, if we just stop there, among the 25 percent of people who can be wooed, candidates would be wise to express opinions that are consistent with their preferences and to avoid expressing opinions that are inconsistent with their preferences. So, anything candidates can say to emphasize their commitment to views that Americans share will bring votes from these issue public members who listen carefully. You might think that issue public members would know that, in general, they can count on Democratic candidates to pursue a green agenda when they're in office, and they can count on Republican candidates to oppose a green agenda when they're in office, but that's not how issue public members think.
They listen carefully to what the candidates say, and candidates can definitely disappoint issue public members by failing to talk about their issue, or by talking about it in a way that lacks what they consider the passion that's needed, the commitment that's needed. Taking green positions by candidates will win them votes. Taking skeptical positions will cost them votes. And we actually have evidence from this survey, which we will be releasing on exactly that point coming up. So, in the coming weeks and months we'll share more of that, but for now, what I can tell you based on the results we are releasing is that the issue public are the voters. They are overwhelmingly green. Candidates really ought to take green positions if they want to win votes on this issue.
Kristin Hayes: Interesting. So, one final substantive question for you, Jon, before we move to our regular closing feature. What finding or group of findings would you say most surprised you from this year's survey results?
Jon Krosnick: For me, I walked into this survey humble because I knew that this was really an unprecedented moment in history. For me personally, I haven't experienced a combination of the protest about race simultaneously with the dramatic concerns about policing, simultaneously with an economic crash, simultaneously with a major threat to human health, simultaneously with governors shutting down economies in the country. So much going on, that even if there is not an inevitable tradeoff between protecting the economy and protecting the environment, I sure thought that the shock here was big enough that perhaps Americans, even Americans who had been believers in the existence in threat of climate change, might have downplayed their judgements of the priority of all of that.
And so the biggest surprise for me is just how tenacious these opinions are. How in the face of what economists would call such a big shock to the system, that we see really no changes. I might even have bet money in advance that we would see bigger changes. And in this case we see essentially nothing other than movement in maybe the opposite direction of what I would have expected. So, I'm certainly the last person you should ask to make predictions about the future. And my surprise in this case is because that's not something I can do.
Kristin Hayes: Interesting. Again, I would really encourage our listeners to continue to look out for future announcements about findings, but also to check out the web tool, because I think it is really helpful to see some of these things in graphic form and just kind of understand the directionality and the stability in all these issues that we've been talking about. So, Jon, I really just want to thank you for sharing all that with us. It's really good to hear it from the survey designer himself and someone who's been so embedded in this world for many years.
Jon Krosnick: Well, Kristin, it's wonderful to talk with you in particular. I really enjoyed it, but I also really am so grateful to RFF for existing and for doing the great work that it does, and for including me under the umbrella. I'm just very grateful.
Kristin Hayes: Of course. It is really our pleasure. I am also grateful to RFF for existing. So, we are alike in that, that's for sure.
Jon Krosnick: There you go.
Kristin Hayes: Yep. So Jon, let's close with our regular feature called Top of the Stack. I would love to ask you for your recommendation on more good content. Again, all content types are welcome, book, article, podcast. What's your recommendation for our listeners? What's on the top of your stack?
Jon Krosnick: I think if your listeners today are intrigued by what they've heard and they would like to be further enlightened about how to think maybe differently and more deeply about the American public and about its opinions on politics and its involvement in politics, I'm going to recommend a book to you. It's written by Professor Arthur Lupia, who's at the University of Michigan usually, although right now, he's directing social behavioral and economic sciences at the National Science Foundation with you in Washington, and the book is called Uninformed. It's a remarkable treatise that gives you insight into the psychological perspectives, political science perspectives, economic perspectives on the question of whether Americans actually know enough to keep the democracy boat floating and directed in good ways. It's an intriguing and powerful treatise, and I would encourage people to take a look.
Kristin Hayes: Well, that is wonderful. We will include a link to that on the RFF page associated with this podcast recording too, so our readers can have easy access to it. So, Jon, thank you again, it's been a wonderful conversation. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk through all of this with us. I'm sure as you noted, people will see your name coming up more frequently as we continue to release these findings. But thank you again, it's been a pleasure.
Jon Krosnick: Thank you for doing it, Kristin. Really appreciate it.
Kristin Hayes: You've been listening to Resources Radio. Thanks for tuning in. If you have a minute, we'd really appreciate you leaving us a rating or a comment on your podcast platform of choice. Also, feel free to send us your suggestions for future episodes. Resources Radio is a podcast from Resources for the Future. RFF is an independent non-profit research institution in Washington, DC. Our mission is to improve environmental energy and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. Learn more about us at rff.org.
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