Increasing preparedness for wildfires by informing residents of their community's social norms

Howe, P, Boldero, J, McNeill, I, Vargas-Sáenz, A and Handmer, J 2018, 'Increasing preparedness for wildfires by informing residents of their community's social norms', Natural Hazards Review, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 1-9.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Increasing preparedness for wildfires by informing residents of their community's social norms
Author(s) Howe, P
Boldero, J
McNeill, I
Vargas-Sáenz, A
Handmer, J
Year 2018
Journal name Natural Hazards Review
Volume number 19
Issue number 2
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Abstract Despite being informed about the risks of wildfires and what can be done to reduce these risks, many Australian residents in areas prone to wildfires still do not adequately prepare for them. A more effective strategy is needed to encourage residents to become better prepared for wildfires. Studies have shown that communicating social norms, such as what others typically do (i.e., the descriptive norm) and think should be done (i.e., the injunctive norm), is an effective way of modifying behavior. Two pilot studies were run in which participants played a game where they simulated preparing for a wildfire. A social norm message was found to significantly increase wildfire preparedness in this hypothetical game. When the equivalent message was trialed in an actual field study by surveying residents twice 19 days apart on average, the number of preparedness actions performed by residents increased by 11%. These results indicate that social norm messages can play a useful role as part of a larger information campaign to encourage people to become better prepared for wildfires.
Subject Engineering not elsewhere classified
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Communication
Communities
Education
Planning
Policy
Social sciences
DOI - identifier 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000279
Copyright notice © 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers.
ISSN 1527-6988
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