Disaster Warnings in Your Pocket: How Audiences Interpret Mobile Alerts for an Unfamiliar Hazard

Hamilton Bean, Brooke F. Liu, Stephanie Madden, Jeannette Sutton, Michele M. Wood, Dennis S. Mileti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates how people interpret Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) and Twitter-length messages (‘tweets’) delivered over mobile devices for an unfamiliar hazard. Specifically, through four (N = 31) focus groups and 31 think-out-loud interviews, participants’ understanding of, belief in and personalisation of WEAs and tweets were assessed for a mock improvised nuclear device detonation in a major U.S. metropolitan area. While participants offered a wide variety of interpretations, WEAs and tweets were often deemed confusing, difficult to believe and impersonal. Participants also consistently found WEAs and tweets to be fear inducing and uninformative. The findings compel improvements in the way that WEAs and tweets are currently written, as well as indicate future directions for applied risk and crisis communication theory development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-147
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Fingerprint

development theory
Disasters
metropolitan area
disaster
Hazards
hazard
communication
Information theory
Detonation
Mobile devices
Hazard
Disaster
Warning
Emergency

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Bean, Hamilton ; Liu, Brooke F. ; Madden, Stephanie ; Sutton, Jeannette ; Wood, Michele M. ; Mileti, Dennis S. / Disaster Warnings in Your Pocket : How Audiences Interpret Mobile Alerts for an Unfamiliar Hazard. In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management. 2016 ; Vol. 24, No. 3. pp. 136-147.
@article{af9499dcc3f44f5180ad67e03b59e1aa,
title = "Disaster Warnings in Your Pocket: How Audiences Interpret Mobile Alerts for an Unfamiliar Hazard",
abstract = "This study investigates how people interpret Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) and Twitter-length messages (‘tweets’) delivered over mobile devices for an unfamiliar hazard. Specifically, through four (N = 31) focus groups and 31 think-out-loud interviews, participants’ understanding of, belief in and personalisation of WEAs and tweets were assessed for a mock improvised nuclear device detonation in a major U.S. metropolitan area. While participants offered a wide variety of interpretations, WEAs and tweets were often deemed confusing, difficult to believe and impersonal. Participants also consistently found WEAs and tweets to be fear inducing and uninformative. The findings compel improvements in the way that WEAs and tweets are currently written, as well as indicate future directions for applied risk and crisis communication theory development.",
author = "Hamilton Bean and Liu, {Brooke F.} and Stephanie Madden and Jeannette Sutton and Wood, {Michele M.} and Mileti, {Dennis S.}",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/1468-5973.12108",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "24",
pages = "136--147",
journal = "Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management",
issn = "0966-0879",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

Disaster Warnings in Your Pocket : How Audiences Interpret Mobile Alerts for an Unfamiliar Hazard. / Bean, Hamilton; Liu, Brooke F.; Madden, Stephanie; Sutton, Jeannette; Wood, Michele M.; Mileti, Dennis S.

In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Vol. 24, No. 3, 01.09.2016, p. 136-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Disaster Warnings in Your Pocket

T2 - How Audiences Interpret Mobile Alerts for an Unfamiliar Hazard

AU - Bean, Hamilton

AU - Liu, Brooke F.

AU - Madden, Stephanie

AU - Sutton, Jeannette

AU - Wood, Michele M.

AU - Mileti, Dennis S.

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - This study investigates how people interpret Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) and Twitter-length messages (‘tweets’) delivered over mobile devices for an unfamiliar hazard. Specifically, through four (N = 31) focus groups and 31 think-out-loud interviews, participants’ understanding of, belief in and personalisation of WEAs and tweets were assessed for a mock improvised nuclear device detonation in a major U.S. metropolitan area. While participants offered a wide variety of interpretations, WEAs and tweets were often deemed confusing, difficult to believe and impersonal. Participants also consistently found WEAs and tweets to be fear inducing and uninformative. The findings compel improvements in the way that WEAs and tweets are currently written, as well as indicate future directions for applied risk and crisis communication theory development.

AB - This study investigates how people interpret Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) and Twitter-length messages (‘tweets’) delivered over mobile devices for an unfamiliar hazard. Specifically, through four (N = 31) focus groups and 31 think-out-loud interviews, participants’ understanding of, belief in and personalisation of WEAs and tweets were assessed for a mock improvised nuclear device detonation in a major U.S. metropolitan area. While participants offered a wide variety of interpretations, WEAs and tweets were often deemed confusing, difficult to believe and impersonal. Participants also consistently found WEAs and tweets to be fear inducing and uninformative. The findings compel improvements in the way that WEAs and tweets are currently written, as well as indicate future directions for applied risk and crisis communication theory development.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84960193812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84960193812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/1468-5973.12108

DO - 10.1111/1468-5973.12108

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84960193812

VL - 24

SP - 136

EP - 147

JO - Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

JF - Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

SN - 0966-0879

IS - 3

ER -