Psychosocial Construction of Disasters

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Conceptual frameworks forprevention and mitigating theeffects of hazards

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  • The PSYCHOLOGICAL & SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION of

    DISASTERS

    Aurora Corpuz-Mendoza, Ph.D

    Department of Psychology-UPD

    CE10 29 Jan 2015

  • Disaster Risk Reduction

    Ecological

    Vulnerability Analysis

    Technocratic

    Civil Defense

    Conceptual frameworks for prevention and mitigating the effects of hazards

  • People-Environment Framework Disasters = events that are products of transactions of people w their environments

    Disasters have a personal & sociocultural meaning:

    personal interpretations (perceptions)

    sociocultural values

    Responses to disasters are personal & cultural

  • The Spinning Dancer: LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS (anti -

    clockswise )

    uses logic detail oriented facts rule words and language present and past math and science can comprehend knowing acknowledges order/pattern perception knows object name reality based forms strategies practical safe

    RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS (clockswise )

    uses feeling "big picture" oriented imagination rules symbols and images

    present and future philosophy & religion can "get it" (i.e. meaning) believes appreciates spatial perception knows object function fantasy based presents possibilities impetuous risk taking From: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/right -brain-v-left-brain/story-e6frf7jo-1111114603615

  • The Spinning Dancer: This image, originally created by Nobuyuki Kayahara , was first used as a personality test.

    Lack of visual cues for depth, cause the illusion.

    It is an example of something called bistable perception . It is in the same class of illusion as the Necker cube and Peter-Paul goblet.

  • Major Phases of DRRM

    Mitigation and Prevention: risk assessment, land use

    planning, structural measures, public awareness and education,

    Adaptation: adjustment in natural or human systems in

    response to extreme weather events to moderate harm or

    Preparedness and Alertness: monitoring, prediction, early

    warning, mapping vulnerable areas, organisation and

    Response: alarm, life and property rescue, reduction of impact

    Recovery: reconstruction or retrofitting of infrastructure;

    rehabilitation of communication and transport systems;

    community rehabilitation; post-disaster psychosocial support,..

  • DRRM PHASES & COMPLIANCE

    The response of individuals to each of the DRRM Phases is affected by what a particular disaster warning means for each individual

    Personality, gender, age + other sociodemographic variables interact with physical aspects of the environment

  • 1. Reduction/ Mitigation

    Common mitigation measures are structural/ technological,

    Or Non structural eg legislation, insurance;

    Mitigation is often preceded by risk assessment that is usually PHYSICAL

  • RISK ASSESSMENT

    PHYSICAL RISK

    Identifying & Evaluating objectively the dangers posed by the physical envt

    PERCEIVED RISK

    Identifying & Evaluating subjectively the perceived dangers in the envt

  • Are the walls of this house facing outward, or inward?

  • RISK ASSESSMENT

    The level of risk as determined by an instrument is fixed (eg winds of 160kph)

    But perceived risk is based on:

    1. past experience,

    2. personal diffs (gender, age) in risk - taking,

    3. soc context & cultural scripts (reality as constructed by others)

  • PERCEIVED RISK

    Involves judgements w/c influence our individual conclusions about hazards

    Likelihood

    Severity

    Concern

    What to do

  • Measuring Perceived Risk

    Psychometric approaches have identified consistencies in risk perception that may explain responses of extreme aversion or indifference (Slovic, 1987)

  • PERCEIVED RISKINESS DREADFUL RISK

    Difficult to control

    High catastrophic potential

    Fatal consequences

    Unequal risks & benefits in society

    UNKNOWN RISK

    Unobservable effects

    Not fully understood

    New

    Delayed effects

  • PERCEIVED RISKINESS (Kleinhesselink & Rosa, 1991)

    JAPAN

    Automobile transport

    And Smoking Low unknown risk

    Low dread risk

    Nuclear power Low unknown risk

    High dread risk

    Planes

    High unknown risk

    High dread risk

    USA

    Automobile transport

    And Smoking Low unknown risk

    Low dread risk

    Nuclear power High unknown risk

    High dread risk

    Planes

    High unknown risk

    Low dread risk

  • Perceived Risk is Personal handiworkalazen.blogspot.com

  • RISK HOMEOSTASIS THEORY Simonet & Wilde, 1997

    Acceptable Risk

    Perceived Risk

    Comparison

    Adjust Behavior

    + Outcome -

  • RISK ACCEPTANCE INDIVIDUAL Differences

    Perceived safer environments

    e.g flood dikes, stone buildings

    Afford more risks (Daring)

    e.g delay evacuation responses

    High value for family, shelter, livelihood

    e.g

    Put own life at risk (Heroic)

  • RISK ACCEPTANCE CULTURAL Beliefs & Values

    LOW Uncertainty avoidance HIGH

    (Germans) (Filipinos)

    Being on time Bahala na

    HIGH Risk acceptance HIGH

    Overspeeding Lack of action

    plans

    (Cvetkovich & Earle, 1994)

  • Theory of Planned Behavior Azjen, 1993

    Attitude toward

    Behavior

    Behavioral Risky

    Subjective Norm Intention Behavior

    Cautious

    Perceived Control

  • Communication: Early Warning Systems

    Science & Technology determine the form of early warning systems (EWS) that will initiate the implementation of courses of action

    e.g Typhoon signals

    Flood warnings

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