Variations in earthquake preparedness and risk estimation

Theme: Natural & Biological Hazards
David Alexander7
Main Supervisor:

David Alexander

Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL

Robin fireplace
Second Supervisor:

Robin Goodwin

School of Statistical Sciences, Brunel

Project Description:

Earthquakes lead to substantial casualties and damage worldwide, but previous work examining psycho-social variations in earthquake preparedness and risk estimation has failed to include systematically a range of significant factors.

The proposed research will tackle this omission by developing new frameworks for understanding risk response across varying cultural settings. In these models individual psychological variations (such as in values and beliefs) will combine with group or family influences and broad cultural understandings of risk to predict preparedness and precaution, taking in Japan, China and Italy.

Multi-level analyses will allow for sensitive identification of key individual and social-level variables in each culture. Data will then be used to produce and test interventions aimed at increasing preparedness in each setting (e.g. through messages aimed at tackling specific values or beliefs) which can lead to valuable behavioural outcomes.

Policy Impact of Research:

Research suggests that warnings about risk and preparedness are only heeded by people with particular values and beliefs.

Cultural norms also influence responses. Models that combine psychological knowledge with earth science expertise will aid public health interventions in seismic zones.

Applications are CLOSED.

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