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Title: Cultural worldviews and the perception of natural hazard risk in Australia
Contributor(s): Parsons, Melissa  (author)orcid ; Lykins, Amy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2023
Early Online Version: 2022-04-04
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/17477891.2022.2050668
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The cultural theory of risk proposes that risk perception is biased by sociality and the maintenance of four ways or life, or cultural worldviews: hierarchism, egalitarianism, individualism or communitarianism. This study examined whether cultural worldviews influenced the perception of the risk of bushfire, flood, storm and earthquake in Australia. A sample of 503 participants completed two questionnaires: cultural worldviews and natural hazard risk perception. Only 30% of respondents held strongly hierarchical, egalitarian, individualist or communitarian worldviews. Several aspects of natural hazard risk perception were predicted by cultural worldviews, but associations were weak. Individualists perceived greater risk of, and responsibility for, natural hazards possibly because they perceive them to be a disruptive threat that limits freedom. Egalitarians perceived greater risk from bushfire or storm, possibly because they understand the potential for social impacts from these events and favour collective response. Notions of control and mitigation of natural hazards were associated with hierarchism. Communitarianism was not a predictor of natural hazard risk perception. However, most people don't view natural hazards as a threat to their sociality and way of life. Single heuristics, such as the cultural theory of risk, are unlikely to capture the complexity of natural hazard risk perception in Australia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Environmental Hazards, 22(1), p. 29-50
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1878-0059
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 370903 Natural hazards
520505 Social psychology
410103 Human impacts of climate change and human adaptation
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 190401 Climatological hazards (e.g. extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires)
190101 Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
School of Psychology

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