Storm surges: Exploring the role of experience and knowledge

Livock, Kristy J., Swinbourne, Anne, McShane, Connar, and Henderson, David (2023) Storm surges: Exploring the role of experience and knowledge. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 93. 103781.

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Damaging storm surges from tropical cyclones have not occurred frequently in northern Australia and therefore residents in this region do not have a lot of experience to draw on when assessing potential risk. Lack of experience can also impact on the knowledge an individual holds about an event, and this in turn can alter how associated risks are perceived. This study explored the role of different types of knowledge in perceiving the threat from a storm surge and how experience can impact on these perceptions. The sample consisted of 198 members of the north Queensland community. Participants were asked to indicate the different types of experience they have had with a surge and how knowledgeable they believed they were about these events. Several true/false items gave a measure of objective knowledge, while risk perception was ascertained based on measures of perceived severity, vulnerability, likelihood and potential consequences. The results demonstrated that when an individual had experience with a surge, they were more likely to rely on their subjective knowledge to inform their risk perception. In contrast, when an individual did not have experience, objective knowledge was a better predictor for risk. These findings have implications for how future risk communication can be structured, to ensure individual differences and biases in the processing of risk information are accounted for.

Item ID: 79194
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-4209
Keywords: Cyclones, Experience, Objective knowledge, Risk perception, Storm surges, Subjective knowledge
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2023 02:49
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520199 Applied and developmental psychology not elsewhere classified @ 40%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520599 Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1904 Natural hazards > 190499 Natural hazards not elsewhere classified @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1903 Mitigation of climate change > 190399 Mitigation of climate change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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