Terrorism and dispelling the myth of a panic prone public

Sheppard, Ben and Rubin, G. James and Wardman, Jamie K. and Wessely, Simon (2006) Terrorism and dispelling the myth of a panic prone public. Journal of Public Health Policy, 27 (3). pp. 219-245. ISSN 0197-5897

Documents
Terrorism and dispelling the myth of a panic prone public
[img]
[Download]
Request a copy
[img] PDF
Wardman_terrorism_panic.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

134kB

Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200083

Abstract

Governments and commentators perceive the public to be prone to panic in response to terrorist attacks – conventional or involving chemical, biological or radiological weapons. Evidence from five such incidents suggests that the public is not prone to panic, although people can change their behaviours and attitudes to reduce the risk of themselves being exposed to a terrorist incident. Behavioural responses may be divided into acts of omission, such as not making unnecessary journeys, and acts of commission, such as taking prophylactic medication despite the inherent risk of side effects. Evidence suggests that the public are aware of these differences, and tend to adopt responses proportionate to the risk. Drawing upon the literature in the social and natural sciences, our discussion encompasses differing risk perceptions of terrorist threats and consequences of attacks. How do fear and anxiety interact with behavioural responses to amplify or attenuate perceptions that can be modified through risk communication undertaken by authorities?

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Governments and commentators perceive the public to be prone to panic in response to terrorist attacks – conventional or involving chemical, biological or radiological weapons. Evidence from five such incidents suggests that the public is not prone to panic, although people can change their behaviours and attitudes to reduce the risk of themselves being exposed to a terrorist incident. Behavioural responses may be divided into acts of omission, such as not making unnecessary journeys, and acts of commission, such as taking prophylactic medication despite the inherent risk of side effects. Evidence suggests that the public are aware of these differences, and tend to adopt responses proportionate to the risk. Drawing upon the literature in the social and natural sciences, our discussion encompasses differing risk perceptions of terrorist threats and consequences of attacks. How do fear and anxiety interact with behavioural responses to amplify or attenuate perceptions that can be modified through risk communication undertaken by authorities?
Keywords:biological warfare, chemical warfare, panic, Terrorism, risk
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:3505
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:22 Oct 2010 09:18
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:49

Repository Staff Only: item control page