Climate Change in the Indian Mind: Role of Collective Efficacy in Cimate Change Adaptation

Jagadish Thaker

Major Professor: Edward Wile Maibach, PhD, Department of Communication

Committee Members: Timothy Gibson, Xiaoquan Zhao, Anthony Leiserowitz

Research Hall, Lab 4C
April 16, 2012, 01:00 PM to 10:00 AM


Climate change adaptation requires behavior change at the individual, community, and national levels. Although most of the research on adaptation feature economy and technology as important factors for adaptation, an increasing body of research attests that socially shared beliefs, norms, and networks are often more critical in increasing individuals’ and communities’ adaptive capacity. Based on Bandura’s social cognitive theory (eg., 1997), this dissertation examined the role of collective efficacy to adapt to drinking water scarcity in increasing an individual’s behavioral involvement in community adaptation responses, and at the group level, increasing a community’s adaptation responses.

Using data from a national sample survey in India (n=4031), individuals with high collective efficacy were found to have performed more number of community actions, and strongly support government adaptation policies. Communities with high collective efficacy are also found to have performed more number of community adaptation responses compared to low collective efficacy communities. These results indicate that increasingly collective efficacy beliefs, for example through mass media campaigns, can increase adaptive capacity of individuals and communities.