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Experts are almost unanimous: Human-made climate change is happening right now *(Cook_et_al.,_2013). The public has developed a better awareness of climate change and its risks *(Read,_Bostrom,_Morgan,_Fischhoff,_&_Smuts,_1994; *Reynolds,_Bostrom,_Read,_&_Morgan,_2010), although they may not see climate change as a priority *(Leiserowitz,_Maibach,_Roser-Renouf,_Feinberg,_&_Howe,_2013). A large body of research has focused on the ways that people understand climate change predictions (e.g., *Budescu,_Por,_&_Broomell,_2012; *Budescu,_Por,_Broomell,_&_Smithson,_2014). However, we know very little about how people form climate change predictions. Recent evidence suggests that people tend to focus their predictions on extreme and rare outcomes rather than moderate outcomes *(Juanchich,_Teigen_&_Gourdon,_2013; *Teigen,_Juanchich,_&_Filkuková,_2014; *Teigen,_Juanchich,_&_Riege,_2013). This preference for predicting extreme and rare outcomes can be detrimental to the accurate communication of climate change events because extreme outcomes are, by definition, very unlikely.
Source: Juanchich, M. and Sirota, M. (2017) ‘How much will the sea level rise? Outcome selection and subjective probability in climate change predictions’, Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23(4), pp. 386-402. doi:10.1037/xap0000137.