Disaster Perceptions

  • Nirupama Agrawal
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 49)


Generally speaking, perception includes individuals’ subjectivity in terms of how they see or assess the characteristics of a phenomenon. Risk perception is vital to understanding what risks people consider to be acceptable, and what risk reduction programs have a better chance of being accepted. Risk perception is influenced by a variety of factors including the kind of information available and how that information is processed; the personality and emotional state of the perceiver; their personal experiences and prejudices; and socio-economic factors, to name but a few. Risk perception, risk tolerance, and high or low risk-taking behaviors are all interconnected. The nature and consequences of a potential threat, as well as its proximity, also contribute to how it is perceived by society. In this era of social media, the media is vital to ensuring that disaster news is covered more objectively. This chapter includes survey-based studies conducted in Canada as powerful testimonies to the importance of risk perception among various groups, including average citizens and emergency managers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirupama Agrawal
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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