Emotional triggers linked to perceived costs and benefits of adopting particular behaviours


Further, citizens' emotions influence the relation between perceived risk and perceived benefit of an activity (i.e. GMO or nuclear energy; Alhakami & Slovic, 1994; Finucane, Alhakami, Slovic, & Johnson, 2000). For example, if the perceived benefits are accompanied with an overall positive affect the risk will be perceived as lower. However, if perceived benefit is accompanied with negative affect the level of risk will change. This is especially true for the time-limited and uncertain situations: people rely more on the possibility than on the probability of strong positive or negative consequences (Slovic et al., 2002). This perception of costs and benefits, and emotions attached to it can have direct influence of citizens' behaviour in the context of disasters. For example, people can choose not to evacuate in spite of warnings because they perceive bigger benefit in staying (Heilbrun, Wolbransky, Shah, & Kelly, 2010).

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