Vested interest and environmental risk communication: Improving willingness to cope with impending disasters

Stefano De Dominicis, William D. Crano, Uberta Ganucci Cancellieri, Benedetta Mosco, Mirilia Bonnes, Zachary Hohman, Marino Bonaiuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vested interest theory (VIT), first investigated on environmental risk, suggests that the hedonic relevance of an attitude object moderates relations between attitudes, intentions, and responses to danger. Emphasizing vested interest may maximize impacts of risk communications. Study 1 (N=215) assessed differences between inhabitants of two flood-risk areas in Italy on past experience, risk perceptions, concerns, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Objectively, higher risk areas' residents reported more experience, and greater perceived risk and concern, while no preparedness differences were found (both at "between cities" and "within city" levels). Study 2 (N=444) looked at the moderating role of VIT-based risk communication messages on the relationship between vested interest and behavioral intentions. Components of vested interest moderate attitude-intention consistency, suggesting a new method of developing effective risk announcements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-374
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

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