Journal article

Optimistic bias in relation to preparedness for earthquakes

MJ Spittal, J McClure, RJ Siegert, FH Walkey

Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies | Published : 2005


Although many people are at risk of natural disasters such as floods, volcanoes, and earthquakes, they are often less prepared than they could be. One factor likely to hinder preparation is an optimistic bias, the judgment that negative events are less likely to happen to oneself than to other people. A study of residents in Wellington (New Zealand) (n = 358) examined optimistic bias in relation to earthquake preparation. Bias was indicated by positive self-judgments relative to two targets: an acquaintance or other Wellingtonians in general. Bias was assessed in relation to three criteria: preparation for an earthquake, the likelihood of suffering injury in an earthquake, and the likelihood..

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