UBC study finds vivid images can help harness ‘gut feelings’ for disaster preparedness
Can the right image motivate people to prepare for a natural disaster?
That was the question underlying a new UBC study that looked at how British Columbians absorbed messaging around earthquake risk.
The study, which was published recently in the journal Collabra: Psychology, saw social psychologists team up with engineers and an artist to produce an image of a Vancouver elementary school damaged by a powerful earthquake.
Researchers then showed the image to a group of people to gauge their support of speeding up seismic upgrades and their willingness to do disaster preparation in their own homes.
“To help people think about risks like earthquakes, the government typically provides abstract, quantitative information such as statistics,” said lead author and PhD candidate Iris Lok.
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