Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science, MA

Committee Chair

Gainous, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Moyer, Laura

Committee Member

Moyer, Laura

Committee Member

D'Silva, Margaret

Author's Keywords

framing climate; national security; survey-experiment; climate change perceptions


The issues surrounding climate change continue to have polarizing effects on many Americans. In this thesis I offer a potential bridge to this divide with a comprehensive study on how issue frames can impact how individuals shape their opinions on environmental issues. Focusing on a national security frame, I ask the central research “Will the public perceive issues of climate change differently when they are framed as threats to national security?” For this thesis I design an original experimental survey to measure the impact security framing has on participants’ perception of both climate change and environmental policy options. The survey was designed using Qualtrics online survey software and I recruited participants using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowd-sourced labor platform. I use data from this original framing experiment to show that exposure to a national security frame does, indeed, affect perceptions on environmental issues and raise support for environmental policies.