Regional differences in cognitive dissonance in evacuation behavior at the time of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami

Tatsuhito Kono, Masaya Okuno, Kazuho Yamaura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper constructs an evacuation decision-making model that takes cognitive dissonance into consideration. The purpose of this construction is to clarify the psychological mechanism for the evacuation behavior of residents during an emergency, based on Akerlof and Dickens (Akerlof and Dickens Am Econ Rev 72:307–319, 1982) "The economic consequences of cognitive dissonance". Specifically, we empirically explore people’s psychological mechanism (e.g., cognitive dissonance) for evacuation behavior when a tsunami disaster occurs. As a result, we show that the level of anxiety depends on the area where residents live and that the average anxiety of residents is mostly correlated with the level of damage of past disasters, and that it is affected also by the ages of residents. Since the level of anxiety largely affects an individual’s evacuation behavior, this result can indicate for what kinds of people intervention and assistance are required based on the level of anxiety. A high level of anxiety basically promotes evacuation. Since our results show that anxiety is increased by the experience of tsunamis, education having people virtually experience tsunamis may increase evacuation rates efficiently.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNatural Hazards
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Disaster mitigation
  • Evacuation behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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