Experience and the perceived efficacy of cyclone preparedness behaviour

Scovell, Mitchell, McShane, Connar, and Swinbourne, Anne (2021) Experience and the perceived efficacy of cyclone preparedness behaviour. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 12 (2).

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Purpose: Cyclone preparedness activities can significantly reduce household-related property damage and the negative knock-on effects. Research has found, however, that many people do not perform these behaviours. It is, therefore, important to understand why some people do, and others do not, perform such behaviours. This paper aims to investigate whether a commonly applied psychological theory of behaviour change can explain cyclone-specific preparedness behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach: This study used a cross-sectional survey design to examine the relationship between demographic factors, cyclone experience, psychological factors and preparedness behaviour. Informed by the protection motivation theory (PMT), it was hypothesised that perceived efficacy, perceived cost and self-efficacy would be the strongest predictors of preparedness behaviour. Data from 356 respondents living in a cyclone-prone region were analysed using multiple regression and mediation analysis with the PROCESS macro in SPSS.

Findings: In support of the hypothesis, it was found that perceived efficacy and perceived cost were the strongest psychological predictors of preparedness behaviour. Contradicting the hypothesis, however, self-efficacy was not a significant predictor of preparedness behaviour. Subsequent analysis indicated that people who have experienced cyclone damage perceive that preparedness measures are more effective for reducing damage, which, in turn, increases preparedness behaviour.

Originality/value: This paper provides empirical support for the application of the protective motivation theory for explaining cyclone-specific preparedness behaviour. More specifically, the results indicate that people are more likely prepare for cyclones if they perceive that preparedness activities are effective for reducing damage and are relatively inexpensive and easy to perform. The findings suggest that to promote cyclone preparedness, risk communicators need to emphasise the efficacy of preparedness and downplay the costs.

Item ID: 64369
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1759-5916
Keywords: Disaster mitigation, Preparedness, Behaviour change, Risk communication
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 07:39
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 80%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961010 Natural Hazards in Urban and Industrial Environments @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 50%
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