Emotion provides feedback about thinking styles to influence natural hazard likelihood and perceived response preparedness



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Making judgments about whether one is prepared for a natural hazard (e.g., tornado, earthquake) involves processing information, experiencing emotions, and considering the short-term and long-term tradeoffs. However, few experimental investigations exist of momentary social cognitive factors that influence natural hazard likelihood and perceived response preparedness. Drawing on the Affect-as-Cognitive-Feedback approach, in which positive emotions (and anger) tend to validate thinking styles whereas negative emotions tend to invalidate them, the current work investigates how emotion and thinking styles interact to influence natural hazard judgments. In Study 1, participants completed a task to induce abstract or concrete thought and wrote about a happy or sad memory before making natural hazard likelihood and preparedness judgments. As expected, those under abstract thought and feeling happy judged natural hazards as more likely than those feeling sad. The opposite pattern emerged under concrete thought. Emotion and thinking styles also interacted to indirectly influence perceived preparedness via likelihood judgments. Study 2 participants under abstract or concrete thinking styles watched a happy, sad, or neutral video before completing the same judgments from Study 1 and rating their judgment confidence. High confidence individuals replicated the findings from Study 1, whereas low confidence individuals demonstrated the opposite pattern. In Study 3, a US national sample completed a global or local prime and wrote about an angry or sad memory before making the same judgments from Study 1. After controlling for age and prior natural hazard experience, emotion and thinking style interacted to influence perceived response preparedness.


International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

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Study 1.xlsx (34 kB)
Study 1 - Data Set - CC BY 4.0

Study 2.xlsx (101 kB)
Study 2 - Data Set - CC BY 4.0

Study 3.xlsx (248 kB)
Study 3 - Data Set - CC BY 4.0