The issue of trust and its influence on risk communication during a volcanic crisis

Haynes, K, Barclay, J and Pidgeon, N 2008, 'The issue of trust and its influence on risk communication during a volcanic crisis', Bulletin of Volcanology, vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 605-621.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The issue of trust and its influence on risk communication during a volcanic crisis
Author(s) Haynes, K
Barclay, J
Pidgeon, N
Year 2008
Journal name Bulletin of Volcanology
Volume number 70
Issue number 5
Start page 605
End page 621
Total pages 17
Publisher Springer
Abstract This paper investigates trust in the scientists, government authorities and wider risk management team during the ongoing volcanic crisis in Montserrat, WI. Identifying the most trusted communicator and how trust in information can be enhanced are considered important for improving the efficacy of volcanic risk communication. Qualitative interviews, participant observations and a quantitative survey were utilised to investigate the views and attitudes of the public, authorities and scientists. Trust was found to be dynamic, influenced by political factors made more complex by the colonial nature of Montserrat's governance and the changing level of volcanic activity. The scientists were viewed by the authorities as a highly trusted expert source of volcanic information. Mistrust among some of the local authorities towards the scientists and British Governor was founded in the uncertainty of the volcanic situation and influenced by differences in levels of acceptable risk and suspicions about integrity (e.g. as a consequence of employment by the British Government). The public viewed friends and relatives as the most trusted source for volcanic information. High trust in this source allowed competing messages to reinforce beliefs of lower risk than were officially being described.
Keyword(s) communication role
volcanic risk communication
competing messages
unofficial communications
dimensions of trust
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s00445-007-0156-z
ISSN 0258-8900
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