Effect of Air Quality Alerts on Intended Behavior Change

  • Megan PeasleeEmail author
  • Josh Nelson
  • Ellen Reed
  • Lukas Sexton
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1215)


In 2015, Air pollution caused 8.8 million premature deaths worldwide and has reduced life expectancy by 2.9 years [6]. The increasing impact of wildfires and other emissions will lead to more days and locations with poor air quality. This research references and builds on previous work on how visual anchoring within the Air Quality Index (AQI) Alerts rating affects intended behavior change to ultimately protect against adverse health outcomes. Additionally, this study examines how past behavior and personality may impact future behaviors. Results show a significant effect of past behavior change specifically on intent to wear a face mask (t = −2.069, p = 0.0413). However, no effect of behavioral change was found between the two AQI Alert visuals presented as well as no effect between dominant or passive personality. As air quality continues to decrease worldwide the importance of understanding AQI Alerts on resulting behavior change becomes more critical.


Human factors & health Air quality alert Behavior change 


  1. 1.
    Azad, A.: Due to wildfires, California now has the most polluted cities in the world, 17 November 2018.
  2. 2.
    Cho, R.: What You Should Know About Air Quality Alerts, 20 February 2019. Accessed 15 Mar 2020
  3. 3.
    D’Antoni, D., Smith, L., Auyeung, V., Weinman, J.: Psychosocial and demographic predictors of adherence and non-adherence to health advice accompanying air quality warning systems: a systematic review. Environ. Health 16, 100 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hansstein, F.V., Echegaray, F.: Exploring motivations behind pollution-mask use in a sample of young adults in urban China. Global Health 14, 122 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Laumbach, R.J., Meng, Q., Kipen, H.: What can individuals do to reduce personal health risks from air pollution? J. Thorac. Dis. 7(1), 96–107 (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Max-Planck-Gesellschaft: Air pollution is one of the world’s most dangerous health risks. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2020. Accessed 15 Mar 2020
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    Noonan, D.S.: Smoggy with a chance of altruism: using air quality forecasts to drive behavioral change (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    O’Keefe, D.J.: Persuasion: Theory and Research, 3rd edn. Sage Publications, Los Angeles (2016). OCLC: 900684567. ISBN 978-1-4522-7667-0Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Saberian, S., Heyes, A.G., Rivers, N.: Alerts work! Air quality warnings and cycling (2017)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Semenza, J.C., Wilson, D.J., Parra, J., Bontempo, B.D., Hart, M., Sailor, D.J., George, L.A.: Public perception and behavior change in relationship to hot weather and air pollution. Environ. Res. 107(3), 401–411 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wildfires and Climate Change (n.d.). Accessed 3 Feb 2020
  13. 13.
    Zikmund-Fisher, B.J., Scherer, A.M., Witteman, H.O., Solomon, J.B., Exe, N.L., Fagerlin, A.: Effect of harm anchors in visual displays of test results on patient perceptions of urgency about near-normal values: experimental study. J. Med. Internet Res. 20(3), e98 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan Peaslee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Josh Nelson
    • 1
  • Ellen Reed
    • 1
  • Lukas Sexton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations