Your Brain On Climate

Pluralistic Ignorance, with Deborah Prentice

October 12, 2021 Dave Powell Episode 7
Your Brain On Climate
Pluralistic Ignorance, with Deborah Prentice
Show Notes

An episode all about one of the weirdest but most important of all human brain-oddnesses: pluralistic ignorance. When you think something and lots of other people also think that thing but none of you think anyone else agrees with you, so nothing changes. Got that?

Dave is joined by Professor Deborah Prentice from Princeton University to get his noggin around this deeply human trait. On the menu: just how common is it that we think we’re alone in an idea when we’re not? Is pluralistic ignorance to blame for imposter syndrome? And should climate campaigners  fear or embrace it?

Extra reading as highlighted by the owl noises:
-- 05.07: Deborah's 1993 study into drinking and pluralistic ignorance
-- 18.37: Racial attitudes and pluralistic ignorance (1976 study)
-- 22.01: Nudge theory explainer

Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or

The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.

Show logo by Arthur Stovell at   

YBOC will return in early 2022.