12B.2 Weathering the Effects of Affect: Modeling the Causes and Consequences of Extreme Weather Affective Experience

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 10:45 AM
151B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Sean Ernst, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. Allen, J. T. Ripberger, H. Jenkins Smith, and C. Silva

It has long been assumed that weather and climate can impact individual’s emotions and affective experience. However, the relationship between affect and extreme weather preparation and response is relatively unmapped. This study seeks to model the causes and consequences of extreme weather affective experience through a survey of individual’s tornado preparation and response. Thus, two theoretical models were developed: the first relates demographic variables to extreme weather risk perception and affect, while the second investigates the relationship between affect and tornado preparation and response. To test these models, a representative sample of United States adults (N=2009) is used. To measure participant’s affective experience with regards to extreme weather, a modified version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) was used, which asks participants to define the extent to which they experience specific positive and negative emotions when thinking about extreme weather. Analysis of the data through Structural Equation Modeling supports the two theoretical models, with strong fit. These results suggest that positive and negative affect play a role in individual’s preparation for and response to tornado events. More specifically, negative affect may reduce individual’s preparedness for tornadoes, highlighting a potential vulnerable population to tornado impacts. Finally, discussion will focus on future research and implications for extreme weather risk perceptions and risk communication, both for tornadoes and extreme weather overall.
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