After the virtual flood
After the virtual flood: risk perceptions, emotions and preparedness after flood risk communication in virtual reality
Abstract: Flooding is one of the most deathly and costly natural disasters in the world and its impacts are expected to increase due to increased urbanization in coastal areas and climate change. Effective risk communication may increase investments in voluntary damage reduction measures by individual homeowners. We know from previous survey research that the strongest predictors of flood preparedness are emotions, coping values and personal norms. Generally, homeowners with (recent) flood risk experience are better prepared, which is mediated through emotions and a better understanding of the consequences of flooding. This research uses high-immersive virtual reality technology to examine whether risk perception, coping appraisal, negative emotions and damage-reducing investment behavior can be enhanced through the experience of a virtual flood. We use a repeated measures design to examine (1) whether these effects last and (2) whether respondents have engaged in flood preparedness behavior at home by installing (more) measures.
Working paper available here.
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