Depth of information processing rather than its content affects proactive behavioral intentions towards risk

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Yasushi KyutokuMitsuru YamashinaMasayoshi TanishitaHidetsugu NanbaSatoshi FukudaHiroko Shoji

Abstract: Increasing incidences of climate-change-related extreme weather is known to cause risk perception and anxiety. When these psychological reactions lead to proactive behaviors such as an intention to purchase a disaster insurance policy, the psychological reactions are regarded as adaptive. According to the deficit model, information contents should strongly affect psychological reactions and proactive behaviors. However, the causal model postulates that the processing depth of information should affect psychological reactions and proactive behaviors. These models led to an examination of the deficit model in Study 1 and of the causal model in Study 2. In Study 1, 505 participants, who did not have disaster insurance at the time of the study, were randomly assigned to either the informative or less informative condition. Then, they responded to an online questionnaire which included items for demographics, risk perceptions regarding climate-change-related disasters, efficacy in dealing with climate-change-related disasters, anxiety about climate-related disasters, absence of worry about a climate-related disasters, and intention to buy disaster insurance. The results revealed no significant difference between the informative and less informative conditions, implying that the deficit model was not supported. In Study 2, 445 participants, who did not have disaster insurance at the time, were randomly assigned to shallower or deeper processing conditions, and all participants responded to the same questionnaires used in Study 1. The results indicated that risk perception and insurance purchase intentions were higher in the deeper processing condition, implying that the deficit model is partially supported. Taken together, manipulating the manner in which information is processed can be an effective way to promote proactive behavior.

Keywords: Absence of worry, absence of anxiety, risk information

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002990

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