Impact of visual aids on risk perception


In order to provoke negative emotions and to induce alert in citizens, risk brochures and instructions often contain images of disasters, shelters and frightened people (Helsloot & Ruitenberg, 2004). For example, one study reported that participants who looked at photographs of flooded houses showed higher risk perception then the control group (Keller et al., 2006). Authors hypothesised that images evoked emotions, which increased perceived risk. This type of information presentation evokes citizens' experiential system and helps them to imagine the negative emotional consequences of disasters, increasing their preparedness behaviour (Siegriest & Gutscher, 2008). Regardless of the exact underlying mechanism, experts in the field agree that presenting or reminding people of negative consequences of disasters can affect their risk perception and increase the number of their preparedness activities. This can be especially important for the seldom or low probability events and hazard.

Note: See source document for full reference.

Applicable to: