Emotional triggers and future risk related behaviours


People who experienced a disaster are familiar with the consequences of the disaster, which is another way in which previous experience might influence risk behaviour (Terpstra, 2011). This further opens a question of accuracy and precision of consequences comprehension (especially emotional) as well as possibility of proper costs and benefits judgement for different risks, as already discussed in the context of “affective rationality”. Studies have shown that there is some room for doubt as people tend to overestimate the impact of positive and negative consequences on their wellbeing and tend to make errors when judging the duration of those consequences (Siegriest & Gutscher, 2008). Also people overestimate the intensity of their emotions to grand scale tragedies even though they state that they would feel worse as a number of disaster victims grow - their level of emotional reaction is the same regardless of the scope of the disaster (Dunn & Ashton-James, 2008). This is a very important finding, given that other studies suggest how our experiential system enables us to act quickly and adaptive only when we are able to accurately anticipate the consequences of our actions (Slovic, Finucane, Peters, & MacGregor, 2004).

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