Abel Gustafson

Abel Thomas Gustafson , Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr.

McMicken Hall

145A

A&S Communication - 0184

Professional Summary

Dr. Abel Gustafson is an expert on public opinion and strategic communication in environmental and sustainability topics. He studies the roles that emotion, uncertainty, social norms, uncertainty, worldviews, media, and politics play in driving public attitudes and behaviors related to the environment and sustainanbility.

Before joining the University of Cincinnati, he was a postdoc at Yale University (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 2018-2020) and earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara (Communication, 2018).

Education

Ph.D.: University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA, 2018 (Communication)

Postdoc: Yale University New Haven, CT, 2020 (Communication)

M.A.: University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI, 2013 (Communication)

Research and Practice Interests

Dr. Gustafson's research program studies public opinion of environmental and sustainability topics, while also developing and testing communication strategies that can be effective in shifting attitudes and behaviors related to the environment and sustainability.  He utlizes diverse quantitative methods to assess public opinion and the effects of communication. 

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Goldberg, M.H., Gustafson, A., van der Linden, S.A. (2020). Leveraging social science to generate lasting engagement with climate change solutions. One Earth. DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2020.08.011

*Schneider-Mayerson, M., *Gustafson, A., Leiserowitz, A., Goldberg, M.H., Rosenthal, S., & Ballew, M.T. (2020) Environmental literature as persuasion: An experimental test of the effects of reading climate fiction. Environmental Communication. DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1814377 * = co-first authors

Goldberg, M.H., Gustafson, A., Ballew, M.T., Rosenthal, S.A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Identifying the most important predictors of support for climate policy. Behavioural Public Policy.

Gustafson, A., Ballew, M.T., Goldberg, M.H., Cutler, M. J., Rosenthal, S.A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Personal stories can change climate change beliefs and attitudes: The mediating role of emotion. Communication Reports. DOI: 10.1080/08934215.2020.1799049

Ballew, M. T., Rosenthal, S. A., Goldberg, M. H., Gustafson, A., Kotcher, J. K., Maibach, E. W., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Beliefs about others’ global warming beliefs: The role of party affiliation and opinion deviance. Journal of Environmental Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2020.101466

Gustafson, A., & Rice, R.E. (2020). A systematic review of the effects of uncertainty in public science communication. Public Understanding of Science. DOI: 10.1177/0963662520942122

Goldberg, M.H., Gustafson, A., Maibach, E.W., Ballew, M.T., Bergquist, P., Kotcher, J.E., Marlon, J.R., Rosenthal, S.A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Mask-wearing increases after a government recommendation: A natural experiment in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Communication.

Goldberg, M.H., Gustafson, A., Ballew, M.T., Rosenthal, S.A., Cutler, M. J., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020) Predictors of global warming risk perceptions among Latino and non-Latino White Americans. Climatic Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-020-02728-z

Gustafson, A., Goldberg, M.H., Kotcher, J.E., Rosenthal, S.A., Maibach, E.W., Ballew, M.T., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Republicans and Democrats differ in why they support renewable energy. Energy Policy, 141. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111448

Gustafson, A., Goldberg, M.H., Ballew, M.T., Wang, X., Marlon, J., Rosenthal, S.A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Many Americans support suing fossil fuels companies for global warming damages. Environment, 62(2), 30-35. DOI: 10.1080/00139157.2020.1708649

Gustafson, A., Rosenthal, S.A., Ballew, M.T., Goldberg, M.H., Bergquist, P., Kotcher, J.E., Maibach, E.W., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). The development of partisan polarization over the Green New Deal. Nature Climate Change. DOI:10.1038/s41558-019-0621-7

Goldberg, M.H., Gustafson, A., Ballew, M.T., Rosenthal, S.A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). A social identity approach to engaging Christians in the issue of climate change. Science Communication, 41(4), 442-463.

Gustafson, A., Rice, R.E. (2019). The effects of uncertainty frames in three science communication topics. Science Communication. DOI:10.1177/1075547019870811

Ballew, M.T., Goldberg, M.H., Rosenthal, S.A., Gustafson, A., Leiserowitz, A. (2019). Systems thinking as a pathway to global warming beliefs and attitudes through an ecological worldview. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 116(17), 8214-8219.

Goldberg, M.H., van der Linden, S., Ballew, M.T., Rosenthal, S. A., Gustafson, A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019). The experience of consensus: Video as an effective medium to communicate scientific agreement on climate change. Science Communication, 41(5), 659-673.

Nabi, R.L., Gustafson, A., & Jensen, R. (2018). Framing climate change: Exploring the role of emotion in generating advocacy behavior. Science Communication, 40(4), 442-468.

Rice, R.E., Gustafson, A., & Hoffmann, Z. (2018). Frequent but accurate: A closer look at uncertainty and opinion divergence in climate change print news. Environmental Communication, 12(3), 303-321.

Smith, B.K., & Gustafson, A. (2017). Predicting elections with Wikipedia: Online behavior as a predictor of voting. Public Opinion Quarterly, 81(3), 714-735.

Gustafson, A., & Rice, R.E. (2016). The green get greener: Cumulative advantage in the adoption of sustainable technology. Science Communication, 38(6), 800–811.

Tokunaga, R.S., & Gustafson, A. (2014). Seeking interpersonal information over the Internet: An application of the theory of motivated information management to Internet use. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 31(8), 1019-1039.

Technical Reports

Marlon, J.; Ballew, M.; Bergquist, P.; Goldberg, M.; Gustafson, A.; Kotcher, J.; Rosenthal, S. and Maibach, E. (2020). Do Americans support voting by mail to limit the spread of coronavirus infections? New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Kotcher, J., Maibach, E., Rosenthal, S., Gustafson, A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Americans increasingly understand that climate change harms human health. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Marlon, J., Maibach, E., Ballew, M., Bergquist, P., Goldberg, M., Gustafson, A., Kotcher, J., Rosenthal, S., Wang, X., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020). Who do Americans trust most for information about COVID-19? Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Presentations

Invited Presentations

Gustafson, A. (August 27, 2020) Communicating Effectively on Climate and Clean Energy. Clean Energy Leadership Institute’s emPOWER20 conference.

Gustafson, A. (June 26, 2020) Renewable Energy in the American Mind: Public Opinion and Opportunities for Action. Solar United Neighbors.

Gustafson, A. & Fine, E. (June 9, 2020) Renewable Energy in the American Mind: Public Opinion and Opportunities for Action. U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO).

Gustafson, A. (May 6, 2020) Republicans and Democrats Both Support Renewable Energy, But Differ in Their Main Reasons Why. Research and Experimentation 8th Convening, Climate Advocacy Lab.

Gustafson, A. (June 5, 2019) Your Opinion Matters: Americans Views on Climate Change. United Nations Committee of New Canaan.

Gustafson, A. (September 15, 2016) Sustainability Communication: A Critical Look at Research and Practice. Renewable Carbon Workshop, Mellichamp Sustainability Initiative.

Gustafson, A. (February 27, 2015) Predicting Election Outcomes Using Wikipedia. UC Santa Barbara Department of Communication.

Paper Presentations

Gustafson, A., Goldberg, M. H., Kotcher, J. E., Rosenthal, S. A., Maibach, E. W., Ballew, M. T., & Leiserowitz, A. (2020, February). Differences between Democrats and Republicans in why they support renewable energy. Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference, New Orleans, LA.

Gustafson, A., Ballew, M. T., Goldberg, M. H., Cutler, M.J., Rosenthal, S. A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019, November). Telling stories of the personal effects of climate change to political moderates and conservatives: the mediating role of emotions. Paper accepted for presentation at the National Communication Association convention, Baltimore, MD.

Goldberg, M. H., Gustafson, A., Ballew, M. T., Rosenthal, S. A., & Leiserowitz, A. (2019, November). A social identity approach to engaging Christians on the issue of climate change. Paper accepted for presentation at the National Communication Association convention, Baltimore, MD.

Gustafson, A., Rosenthal, S., Bergquist, P., Ballew, M. T., Goldberg, M. H., Kotcher, J. E., Leiserowitz, A., & Maibach, E. W. (2019, June). How bipartisan support for the Green New Deal disappeared in four months. Paper presented at the Conference on Communicating the Environment, Vancouver, BC.

Gustafson, A., & Rice, R.E. (2019, May). The effects of uncertainty frames in three science communication topics. Paper presented at the International Communication Association convention, Washington, D.C.

Gustafson, A. (2018, Nov). Resolving the competing perspectives on the effects of uncertainty frames in science communication. Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention, Salt Lake City, UT.

Nabi, R., Gustafson, A., & Perez-Torres, D. (2018, May). Effects of scanning health news headlines on trust in science: An emotional framing perspective. Paper presented at the International Communication Association convention, Prague, CZ.

Nabi, R., Gustafson, A., & Jensen, R. (2017, Nov). Framing climate change: Exploring the role of emotion in generating advocacy behavior. Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention, Dallas, TX.

Rice, R.E., Gustafson, A., Hoffman, Z., & McGrath, L. (2017, May) Uncertainty and opinion divergence framing in climate change news, 2009-2015. Paper presented at the International Communication Association convention, San Diego, CA.

Gustafson, A., & Rice, R.E. (2016, Nov). Reducing Uncertainty and Controversy in Research on Journalism Framing of Climate Change. Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention, Philadelphia, PA. **Top Paper Award**

Gustafson, A., & Rice, R.E. (2016, Nov). Cumulative advantage effects in sustainability science communication. Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Gustafson, A. & Smith, B.K. (2016, Nov). Wikipedia usage data as a predictor of gubernatorial elections. Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Gustafson, A., Jensen, E., & Smith, B.K. (2016, Aug) Robust Social Science Research in a Big Data Universe. Presented at the American Psychological Association convention, Denver, CO.

Smith, B.K. & Gustafson, A. (2015, Nov) Using Wikipedia to predict election outcomes: Digital behavior as a predictor of voting. Paper presented at the National Communication Association convention, Las Vegas, NV.

Gustafson, A., & Tokunaga, R. (2013, May) Seeking interpersonal information over the internet: An application of the theory of motivated information management to internet use. Paper presented at the International Communication Association convention, London, U.K.