Hurricane adaptation behaviors in Texas and Florida: exploring the roles of negative personal experience and subjective attribution to climate change
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Hurricane adaptation behaviors in Texas and Florida: exploring the roles of negative personal experience and subjective attribution to climate change

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  • Journal Title:
    Environmental Research Letters
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  • Description:
    Understanding the motivation to adopt personal household adaptation behaviors in the face of climate change-related hazards is essential for developing and implementing behaviorally realistic interventions that promote well-being and health. Escalating extreme weather events increase the number of those directly exposed and adversely impacted by climate change. But do people attribute these negative events to climate change? Such subjective attribution may be a cognitive process whereby the experience of negative climate-change-related events may increase risk perceptions and motivate people to act. Here we surveyed a representative sample of 1846 residents of Florida and Texas, many of whom had been repeatedly exposed to hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, facing the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. We assessed prior hurricane negative personal experiences, climate-change-related subjective attribution (for hurricanes), risk appraisal (perceived probability and severity of a hurricane threat), hurricane adaptation appraisal (perceived efficacy of adaptation measures and self-efficacy to address the threat of hurricanes), and self-reported hurricane personal household adaptation. Our findings suggest that prior hurricane negative personal experiences and subjective attribution are associated with greater hurricane risk appraisal. Hurricane subjective attribution moderated the relationship between hurricane negative personal experiences and risk appraisal; in turn, negative hurricane personal experiences, hurricane risk appraisal, and adaptation appraisal were positively associated with self-reported hurricane personal adaptation behaviors. Subjective attribution may be associated with elevated perceived risk for specific climate hazards. Communications that help people understand the link between their negative personal experiences (e.g. hurricanes) and climate change may help guide risk perceptions and motivate protective actions, particularly in areas with repeated exposure to threats.
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  • Source:
    Environmental Research Letters, 17(3), 034033
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  • ISSN:
    1748-9326
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    CC BY
  • Compliance:
    Submitted
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