Education and income levels influence the levels of fear


The existence of vulnerable social groups was demonstrated in the study of fear of terrorism after the September 11 attacks (Boscarino et al., 2003). Based on the responses collected from 1001 citizens of New York, authors conducted two multiple logistic regressions investigating which socio-demographic variables significantly predicted the fear of future terrorist attacks, and different evacuation behaviours during an attack (Boscarino et al., 2003). Results showed that the fear of future terrorist attacks was higher in women, elderly, African Americans and Hispanics, and those with less education and less income. Additionally, a higher level of fear was found for people who were already involved in some protective measures (such as avoiding crowded places). The study reported an additional important finding people with a higher fear of terrorism were more likely to say that they would immediately evacuate if an attack would occur, without evaluating available information provided by local or state officials (Boscarino et al., 2003). This finding has important implications for risk management showing that the timely management of extreme level of fear might influence citizens' response behaviour during a disaster.

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