Does measurement of intentions allow us to assume behavior? A disaster information seeking perspective

Ryan, Barbara (2013) Does measurement of intentions allow us to assume behavior? A disaster information seeking perspective. In: International Research Committee on Disasters Annual Meeting, 16 July 2013, Broomfield, CO, USA.

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The research of disaster behavior and information seeking has shown actual behavior during a disaster and intended behavior, but rarely are the two compared outside disaster preparedness research. The aim of this study is to compare actual behavior with intentions and draw conclusions about whether reported intentions can be used to predict behavior in a disaster.

An online survey of Australians and a mail survey of Queenslanders conducted between September, 2012 and February, 2013 secured 349 responses. Responses came from 107 people with no disaster experience who reported their information seeking intentions. The remaining 242 experienced a disaster in the past two years and reported their actual behavior. Questions included how people learned or would learn of a disaster, where they went or would go for more information, and sources they used or would use during the impact and initial response phase of a disaster.

Limitations of the research included sampling methods (snowball and convenience), which led to a gender bias of 69.9 percent female, a heavy representation of tertiary educated people (56.2 percent of the sample compared with 14.3 percent of the Australian population) and household income (32.8 percent reported household income above AUD$100,000 a year compared with the national average of 14 percent).

Analysis of the results showed little difference between actual behavior and behavioral intentions, even in source preferences and time people took or thought they would take to seek further information after the initial alert. However, in the questions that asked about the importance of sources across the period of information seeking, there were variations of up to 12 percent across the considered importance of some sources.

While more rigorous research needs to be undertaken to confirm or refute the results, this study supports research techniques that use respondent intentions in order to predict information seeking behavior in the impact and response phase of a disaster.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract available online but full paper is unpublished. No indication of copyright restrictions restricting open access.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2014 11:04
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2017 23:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: disaster, intentions, behaviour, behavior
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture

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