An Examination of the Impact of Cultural Worldviews on Response to Severe Weather Risk

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 2:45 PM
229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Terri Adams-Fuller, Howard Univ., Washington, DC; and M. Dovil

As we continue to face increases in risks for weather related disasters, it becomes clear that it is important to unravel how and why people respond to severe weather threats. Response to threats whether they are health, technological, or severe weather are influenced by the perceptions of the observer. Consequently, as we continue to delve deeply into understanding why people choose to or elect not to take protective actions in the face of weather related threats, it is important to note that any threat is a social construct and therefore can be interpreted in a variety of different ways that are shaped by cultural influences. Culture plays a significant role in how people interpret and respond to the environment around them. Thus, different groups in society may evaluate environmental risks differently depending on their cultural worldviews (Smith and Leiserowitz, 2013). This project examines the impact of cultural worldviews on perceptions of risk to severe weather events.