Affect, Risk Perception and Future Optimism after the Tsunami Disaster

Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 64-72, January 2008

9 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2010

See all articles by Daniel Västfjäll

Daniel Västfjäll

Göteborg University

Ellen Peters

Ohio State University - Psychology Department; Decision Research; University of Oregon

Paul Slovic

Decision Research; University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Date Written: January 1, 2008

Abstract

Environmental events such as natural disasters may influence the public’s affective reactions and decisions. Shortly after the 2004 Tsunami disaster we assessed how affect elicited by thinking about this disaster influenced risk perceptions and future time perspective in Swedish undergraduates not directly affected by the disaster. An experimental manipulation was used to increase the salience of affect associated with the disaster. In Study 1 we found that participants reminded about the tsunami had a sense that their life was more finite and included fewer opportunities than participants in the control condition (not reminded about the tsunami). In Study 2 we found similar effects for risk perceptions. In addition, we showed that manipulations of ease-of-thought influenced the extent to which affect influenced these risk perceptions, with greater ease of thoughts being associated with greater perceived risks.

Keywords: Affect, Risk Perception, Disaster

Suggested Citation

Västfjäll, Daniel and Peters, Ellen and Slovic, Paul, Affect, Risk Perception and Future Optimism after the Tsunami Disaster (January 1, 2008). Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 64-72, January 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1593099

Daniel Västfjäll

Göteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Ellen Peters (Contact Author)

Ohio State University - Psychology Department ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.decisionresearch.org

University of Oregon ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Paul Slovic

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)
541-485-2403 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.decisionresearch.org

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)

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