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Promoting Protection Against a Threat That Evokes Positive Affect: The Case of Heat Waves in the United Kingdom

de Bruin, WB; Lefevre, CE; Taylor, AL; Dessai, S; Fischhoff, B; Kovats, S; (2016) Promoting Protection Against a Threat That Evokes Positive Affect: The Case of Heat Waves in the United Kingdom. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied , 22 (3) pp. 261-271. 10.1037/xap0000083. Green open access

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Abstract

Heat waves can cause death, illness, and discomfort, and are expected to become more frequent as a result of climate change. Yet, United Kingdom residents have positive feelings about hot summers that may undermine their willingness to protect themselves against heat. We randomly assigned United Kingdom participants to 1 of 3 intervention strategies intended to promote heat protection, or to a control group. The first strategy aimed to build on the availability heuristic by asking participants to remember high summer temperatures, but it elicited thoughts of pleasantly hot summer weather. The second strategy aimed to build on the affect heuristic by evoking negative affect about summer temperatures, but it evoked thoughts of unpleasantly cold summer weather. The third strategy combined these 2 approaches and succeeded in evoking thoughts of unpleasantly hot summer weather. Across 2 experiments, the third (combined) strategy increased participants’ expressed intentions to protect against heat compared with the control group, while performing at least as well as the 2 component strategies. We discuss implications for developing interventions about other “pleasant hazards.”

Type: Article
Title: Promoting Protection Against a Threat That Evokes Positive Affect: The Case of Heat Waves in the United Kingdom
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xap0000083
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1037/xap0000083
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 APA, all rights reserved. This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Applied, Psychology, emotions, weather, heat wave, affect heuristic, availability heuristic, SUN PROTECTION, PUBLIC-HEALTH, FEAR APPEALS, RISK, PEOPLE, COMMUNICATION, TEMPERATURE, PERCEPTIONS, PSYCHOLOGY, CAMPAIGNS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521582
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