Although various factors related to the environment (perception of earthquake and warning) and knowledge (oral history and scientific knowledge) affect individual differences in evacuation behavior before a tsunami, the roles of psychological processes and personality factors in such relationships are poorly understood. We addressed this research gap by applying hierarchical regression analyses to survey data from survivors of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster. Previously-known contributions of environmental and knowledge factors were mostly replaced by the perception of a tsunami risk and threat, and these background factors were shown to facilitate these psychological processes. Several personality factors directly contributed to voluntary evacuation, particularly leadership and active well-being in the Power to Live scale, and extraversion in the Big Five scale. Overall, these results seem to indicate the need for formulating two independent targets when developing measures to enhance appropriate tsunami evacuation. Facilitation of the perception of a tsunami risk and threat may basically be pursued by developing existing approaches. Addressing the relevant personality factors may be done in a broader context of disaster or general education and sociocultural activities.
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