669 Space and spatiality in warnings: a new way to evaluate warning comprehension

Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Kimberly E. Klockow, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

When forecasters issue warnings, they consider a complex array of decision factors, including but not limited to forecast quality parameters such as POD (probability of detection) and FAR (false alarm rate), and lead-time goals geared toward providing as much value as possible to the end-user. Tradeoffs between these factors are unavoidable given constraints of technology and the present state of the science. To date, a good deal of research has explored the relationship between warning lead-time and behavioral responses, including both qualitative post-event case studies of vulnerability and aggregate statistical analyses of morbidity and mortality in an attempt to showcase the temporal dimension of forecast value for these particular hazardous events. While these studies are revealing, this dimension alone does not form a complete basis from which to consider problems such as repeated false alarm effects, to consider advancements in warning displays or even to have the assurance that those in the area of the warning understand their relationship to the hazard. Such issues implicitly involve deeper study of spatiality and spatial perception. This research aims to expand upon research focused on temporal dimensions of hazard response to include critical analysis of the spatial. Using theories of spatial cognition and risk decision theory, experiments and post-event analyses can be designed to reveal effects of positionality and risk perception on warning judgment. This presentation will explore the spatial-contextual issues surrounding warnings, highlighting theory, research design and research motivation, and preliminary results from an exploratory study may additionally be available.
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