Motivating Public Evacuation

August 1991 (VOL. 9, NO. 2)

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A common theme in the literature on evacuation compliance is the result of largely social psychological perceptions of risk formed prior to taking the protective action. From this perspective, evacuation is a function of warning recipients coming to define themselves as in danger and believing that fleeing the immediate environment will reduce that danger. This paper explores the social psychological and social structural processes that result in such perceptions. In particular, attention is given to identifying perceptions that motivate evacuation, factors that direct perceptual outcomes and the ways in which motivation and perception are translated into action.