Global Warming: Facing Confirmation Bias And Cognitive Dissonance With Hands-On Activities


  • Leontýna Šlégrová University of Hradec Králové
  • Jan Šlégr University of Hradec Králové
  • Filip Studnička University of Hradec Králové



global warming, hands-on activities, cognitive bias


Although global warming is an irrefutable scientific fact, many people, including those who often call themselves skeptics and critical thinkers, are doubtful about this unambiguous fact. An extensive longitudinal survey amongst the students showed that even future teachers are not resistant to these misconceptions, even if they are presented with the conclusions of the scientific studies.In this paper, we show simple hands-on classroom activities in which publicly available climate data are studied with methods previously known to students, and simple atmospheric models are presented. These simple exercises can help future teachers to establish their own opinion on global warming based on the analysis of data and physical models, and not on information from obscure websites and social networks.


Boyd, Robert, ‎Richerson, Peter J. The evolution of subjective commitment to groups: A tribal instincts hypothesis. In: Evolution and the Capacity for Commitment 3 (2001): 186-220.

Climate Sensitivity. (2013). Retrieved March 18, 2020, from

Cook, John et al. Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. In Environ. Res. Lett. 8 (2013) 024024 (7pp). DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

Festingerf, Leon; Carlsmith, James M. Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. In The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology,58(2), Mar 1959, 203–210.

Gallup, Inc. (2015, March 25). In the U.S., Concern About Environmental Threats Eases. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2020, from

Global Climate Scam. (2017). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

Hansen, J. (2005). Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications. In Science, 308(5727), 1431–1435. doi:10.1126/science.1110252

Jeffrey, Grant, R.: The Global-Warming Deception: How a Secret Elite Plans to Bankrupt America and Steal Your Freedom. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from

Kożuchowski, K., Trepińaska, J., Wibig, J. (1994). The air temperature in Cracow from 1826 to 1990: Persistence, fluctuations, and the urban effect. International Journal of Climatology, 14(9), 1035–1049. DOI:10.1002/joc.3370140908

Mackay, Charles (1841). Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. I (1 ed.). London: Richard Bentley.

Miller, Ron R et al. CMIP5 historical simulations (1850–2012) with GISS ModelE2

Psychology and Global Climate Change: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges (Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change, 2009)

Radiative Forcing. (2015). Retrieved March 18, 2020, from

Roston, E., Migliozzi, B. (2015, June 24). What’s Warming the World? Retrieved March 18, 2020, from

Sagan, Carl (1995). The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark. Random House. ISBN 0-394-53512-X.

Specht, E., Redemann, T., Lorenz, N. (2016). A simplified mathematical model for calculating global warming through anthropogenic CO_2. International Journal of Thermal

Sciences, 102, 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2015.10.039

The world is getting warmer. (2019). Retrieved March 18, 2020, from

Welcome to Energy Balance Modeling! The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc,

Retrieved March 18, 2020, from

Williams, William F., ed. (2000). Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 9781579582074.