Identifying Cognitive Predictors of Natural Hazard Preparedness using the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Vinnell, L. J. (Victoria University of Wellington), Milfont, T. L. (Victoria University of Wellington), McClure, J. (Victoria University of Wellington)

Natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunami can have adverse impacts to infrastructures and populations globally. In Wellington, New Zealand, awareness of these hazards is high but preparation is low. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour, we conducted an online survey with a large community sample (N = 604) to identify predictors of intentions to prepare for natural hazards. Results indicate that attitudes and perceived behavioural control were the only positive predictors of intentions to prepare for natural hazards—in particular, experiential attitudes (perceptions of the experience of preparing as positive), instrumental attitudes (perceptions of the outcomes of preparing as positive), and self-efficacy—with intention predicting information-seeking behaviour. A secondary goal of the study was to examine possible framing effects. “Natural hazards” or “natural disasters” are used inconsistently, and findings in other areas such as climate change communication demonstrate that relatively minor changes in the framing of target issues can impact intentions and actions. Our findings offer preliminary support for a similar framing effect for natural hazards/disasters, both in intention formation and in the association between intentions and behaviour. The findings of this research have important implications for public information campaigns and interventions aimed at increasing preparedness for natural hazards.

Twitter: @ljvinnell

Event Timeslots (1)

Environment and Health