Cognitive Bias and Climate Change


As a teacher of Psychology in the Social Sciences, you can use this teaching module to draw a link between psychological bias and climate change. 

Through this module students will learn about the ‘MPG Illusion’ and the influence cognitive biases have in altering human behaviour towards climate change. Through the quiz in this module, students will understand their own biases. Furthermore, students will learn that, as consumers, to make environmentally sustainable choices, they may have to reframe  a problem to avoid biases.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is cognitive bias?
  2. How do cognitive biases affect our perception of climate change?
  3. What is an ‘MPG Illusion’? How does it affect consumer behaviour? 
  4. When changing to a more fuel efficient vehicle, which will you choose and why? Changing from 10 MPG to 20 MPG or changing from 25 MPG to a 50 MPG?

About the Tool

Tool Name The MPG Illusion: How Cognitive Biases Increase Climate Change
Discipline Social Sciences, Psychology
Topic(s) in Discipline Social Psychology, Climate Psychology, Cognitive Bias
Climate Topic Climate and Society; Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of Tool Teaching Module
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location  US
Language English
Developed by Richard Larrick (Duke University)
Hosted at Action Teaching
Link Link
Access Online/Offline
Computer Skills Basic