Aaron M. McCright

Aaron  M. McCright
  • Professor and Chairperson
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD, Washington State University, 2002
  • 317 Berkey Hall
  • 509 E. Circle Drive
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • 517-355-6640


Aaron M. McCright


Aaron M. McCright is Professor of Sociology & Chairperson in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University.  His sociological research investigates how interrelationships among scientific developments, political processes, & social dynamics influence society’s capacity for recognizing & dealing with environmental degradation & technological risks.  Dr. McCright is most well-known for his work analyzing the political dynamics & public understanding of climate science & policy in the United States—especially organized climate change denial & political polarization on climate change.

In addition, his recent work helps to improve our sociological understanding of societal risk & increase the effectiveness of our risk governance for promoting a more sustainable society.  Dr. McCright also investigates the roles of public opinion for social movements, especially how we can us public opinion surveys to investigate how citizens identify with different social movements over their life course.  Further, he conducts research on the effectiveness of inquiry-based learning projects for improving students’ scientific & statistical knowledge, skills, & attitudes.

​He has published two books, has authored several chapters in edited volumes, & has written a few commissioned reports.  His work also has been published in such scholarly journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Nature Climate Change; Nature Energy; Global Environmental Change; Climatic Change; Public Opinion Quarterly; Social Problems; Social Science Quarterly; Theory, Culture, & Society; The Sociological Quarterly; Journal of Risk Research; Organization & Environment; Environment & Behavior; Population & Environment; & Environmental Politics.

He was named a 2007 Kavli Frontiers Fellow in the National Academy of Sciences, he served as a 2008-2009 Lilly Teaching Fellow at MSU, & he received the 2009 Teacher-Scholar Award & the 2009 Curricular Service-Learning & Civic Engagement Award at MSU.


  • Environmental Science and Policy Program
  • Center for Gender in Global Context


Cabrera, Laura Y., Gerald Roman Nowak III, Aaron M. McCright, Eric Achtyes, & Robyn Bluhm. 2020. "Last Resort Interventions?: A Qualitative Study of Psychyatrists' Experience with and Views on Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions." Psychiatric Quarterly doi:10.1007/s11126-020-09819-1.

Navin, Mark C., Mark A. Largent, & Aaron M. McCright. 2020. "Efficient Burdens Decrease Nonmedical Exemption Rates: A Cross County Comparison of Michigan's Vaccination Waiver Education Efforts." Preventive Medicine Reports 17:101049.  doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101049.

Besley, John C., Kevin C. Elliott, Nagwan Zahry, Aaron M. McCright, Norbert E. Kaminski, & Joseph D. Martin. 2019. "Conflict of Interest Mitigation Procedures May Have Little Influence on the Perceived Procedural Fairness of Risk-Related Research." Risk Analysis 39:571-585.

Gerard, Andrew, Maria Claudia Lopez, & Aaron M. McCright. 2019. "Coffee Roasters' Sustainable Sourcing Decisions & Use of the Direct Trade Label." Sustainability 11:5437. doi:10.3390/su11195437.

​​Marquart-Pyatt, Sandra T., Hui Qian, Matthew K. Houser, & Aaron M. McCright. 2019. “Climate Change Views, Energy Policy Preferences, & Intended Actions across Welfare State Regimes: Evidence from the European Social Survey.” International Journal of Sociology 49(1):1-26.

Steel, Daniel, Chad Gonnerman, Aaron M. McCright, & Itai Bavli. 2018. "Gender & Scientists' Views about the Value-Free Ideal." Perspectives on Science 26:619.657.

Sarathchandra, Dilshani, Mark C. Navin, Mark A. Largent, & Aaron M. McCright. 2018. "A Survey Instrument for Measuring Vaccine Acceptance." Preventive Medicine 109:1-7.

​​Shwom, Rachael L., Cindy Isenhour, Rebecca C. Jordan, Aaron M. McCright, & Jennifer Meta Robinson. 2017. "Integrating the Social Sciences to Enhance Climate Literacy." Frontiers in Ecology & Environment 15(7):377-384.

McCright, Aaron M., & Riley E. Dunlap. 2017. “Combating Misinformation Requires Recognizing Its Types & the Factors That Facilitate Its Spread & Resonance.” Journal of Applied Research in Memory & Cognition 6:389-396.

Allen, Summer, Aaron M. McCright, & Thomas Dietz. 2017. "A Social Movement Identity Instrument for Integrating Survey Methods into Social Movements Research." SAGE Opendoi:10.1177/2158244017708819.

Elliott, Kevin C., Aaron M. McCright, Summer Allen, & Thomas Dietz. 2017. "Values in Environmental Research: Citizens' Views of Scientists Who Acknowledge Values." PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186049. (Press Release)

Sarathchandra, Dilshani, & Aaron M. McCright. 2017. "The Effects of Media Coverage of Scientific Retractions on Risk Perceptions." SAGE Open doi:10.1177/2158244017709324.

Besley, John C., Aaron M. McCright, Nagwan Zahry, Kevin C. Elliott, Norbert E. Kaminski, & Joseph D. Martin. 2017. "Perceived Conflict of Interest in Health Science Partnerships." PLoS ONE 12(4):e0175643. (Press Release) (Essay in The Conversation)

McCright, Aaron M., Sandra T. Marquart-Pyatt, Rachael L. Shwom, Steven R. Brechin, and Summer Allen. 2016. “Ideology, Capitalism, and Climate: Explaining Public Views about Climate Change in the United States.” Energy Research and Social Science 21:180-189.

McCright, Aaron M. 2016. “Anti-Reflexivity and Climate Change Skepticism in the US General Public.” Human Ecology Review 22(2):77-107.

McCright, Aaron M., Meghan Charters, Katherine Dentzman, and Thomas Dietz. 2016. “Examining the Effectiveness of Climate Change Frames in the Face of a Denialist Counter-Frame.” Topics in Cognitive Science 8(1):76-97.

Allen, Summer, Aaron M. McCright, and Thomas Dietz. 2015. “Measuring Household Energy Efficiency Behaviors with Attention to Behavioral Plasticity.” Energy Research and Social Science 10:133-140.

Clements, John M., Aaron M. McCright, Thomas Dietz, and Sandy T. Marquart-Pyatt. 2015. “A Behavioral Measure of Environmental Decision-Making for Social Surveys.” Environmental Sociology 1(1):27-37.

Marquart-Pyatt, Sandra T., Aaron M. McCright, Thomas Dietz, and Riley E. Dunlap. 2014. “Political Orientation Eclipses Climate Extremes for Climate Change Perception.” Global Environmental Change 29:246-257.

McCright, Aaron M., Riley E. Dunlap, and Chenyang Xiao. 2014. “Predicting Perceived Winter Warming in the USA.” Nature Climate Change 4:1077-1081.