Impacts of risk perceptions on decision-making: case studies of the 1995 Kobe, the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman and the 2011 Tohoku earthquakes

Komendantova N & Mochizuki J (2015). Impacts of risk perceptions on decision-making: case studies of the 1995 Kobe, the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman and the 2011 Tohoku earthquakes. TIFAC-IDRiM Abstracts Booklet, Disaster Risk Reduction: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustaiable Growth, New Delhi, India p.86

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

The behavioral economics and decision theory tell us that cognitive biases manifest themselves automatically and unconsciously over a range of human reasoning and the possible way to mitigate them is to raise awareness of their existence and how they influence the decision-making process in situations of several hazards. As behavioral economics show, the decision-making process is influenced by two systems of human brain. One is analytical and needs arguments in form of probabilities and risk assessments, scenarios and cost-benefit analysis. This system operates with numbers such as the likelihood of an event in percentages or in monetary terms of costs and benefits of different alternative government interventions. However, as the focus of cost-benefit analysis is on impacts from different alternatives in policy outcomes, it does not evaluate patters of decision-making process itself. The analytical tools can support decision-making process in regards to the probability judgements of different types of hazards, which require individuals to make risk assessments in regards to natural hazards. But the perception of statistical information might be different than intuitive and affect-based judgements, which decision-makers do under time and resources constraints. Another one is an emotional one and is influencing on decisions through perceptions. The communication process shall address both systems as the analytical arguments can reduce the impacts of behavioral biases and simplify decision rules. Current multi-risk disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster and the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and tsunami, showed the need of a multi-rik approach in hazards mitigation and management, which makes the decision-making process on assessment of probabilities and making choices for risks of mitigation even more complex. This motivated us to focus on two research questions. The first one is if stakeholders treat such hazards separately from each other, neglecting interdependencies and frequent casual, spatial and temporal relationships between different kinds of risks. The second one is how their bahavior is influenced by different kinds of behavioral biases, leading to false estimations of probabilities of multi-hazard events and further choices in the decision-making process in regards to the multi-risk mitigation and management. Our methodology to approach these questions included three steps: expert interviews to approach the claim if decision-makers really treat multiple risks separate from each other and to identify multi-hazard disasters where it was the case, case study method to identify cognitive and behavioral biases in frames of historical multi-risk disasters, conceptual content analysis and text mining to understand, which from the identified biases were most influential in the decision- making process. Our results showed that availability heuristics, loss aversion and limited worry were three most common biases, at the same time as experimental versus statistical evidence and bounded rationality were playing the least significant role in the decision-making process.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: effective seismic risk assessment.
Research Programs: Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Bibliographic Reference: TIFAC-IDRiM Abstracts Booklet, Disaster Risk Reduction: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustaiable Growth, New Delhi, India p.86
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:15
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11621

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313