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WWW. VANDESANDEINLEZINGEN. NL Public warning and the reaction of citizens Social Psychological aspects of WWW. VANDESANDEINLEZINGEN. NL Public warning and the reaction of citizens Social Psychological aspects of Crisis management by cell phone Hans van de Sande, May 26 th 2009

Preliminary remarks • Humans have a strong tendency to seek technological solutions for human Preliminary remarks • Humans have a strong tendency to seek technological solutions for human problems • If there is a technical solution, but it does not work, humans will try to make the gadget work instead of finding solutions for their real problems • When a crisis happens everybody will want to know his loved ones fare. • This means a strong rise in traffic on line telephones and an even stronger rise on the Cellphone networks (see appendix) • Probably it will be worse than New Years Eve • I have not the knowledge to decide if we can handle this • But I know that if we cannot handle overburdening of networks, my talk is a bit senseless

I Some simple facts about HUMANS® The most flexible animal that nature devised I Some simple facts about HUMANS® The most flexible animal that nature devised

Making top quality can be time consuming 5 • • 4 3 2 1 Making top quality can be time consuming 5 • • 4 3 2 1 Earth: 5 billion years Life on earth: 3 billion years Poly-cellular: 1 billion years Vertebrates : 500 million years Mammals: 200 million years Primates: 30 million years Hominides: 2 million years Homo sapiens: 200. 000 years 200 mil 100 mil 20 mil

Improvement also takes much time Our model exists some 200. 000 years Of those Improvement also takes much time Our model exists some 200. 000 years Of those years 198. 000 were before Christ All that time we were building up our civilisation Quite recently, some amazing developments took place: We developed the technical means to deplete all fossil material built up in the last 3 billion years We developed the technical means to raise average about 50 years We developed the technical means to combat almost every kind of disaster We developed the technical means to create disasters on an unheard of scale These means were then used by people who had the reflexes of cavemen

PRIMARY CONCERNS OF MAN • • • • Procreation (Courting, Mating, Rape, Prostitution, Pornography, PRIMARY CONCERNS OF MAN • • • • Procreation (Courting, Mating, Rape, Prostitution, Pornography, Marriage) Child care (Food, Safety, Temperature, Motherly love, Kindergarten) Belonging (Herd, Shoal, Flight, Family, Clan, Tribe, Nation) Communication (signal systems, NV behavior, Language, CELL PHONES) Exchange (Helping behavior, Nursing, Reciprocity, Trade) Status (Competition, Dominance hierarchy, Image building, War) Aggression (Fight/Flight, Threatening, Bluffing, Chasing, Killing) Foraging (Seeking food, Eating, Ruminating, Cooking, Sharing) Hoarding (Honey, Acorns, Food, CDs, Shoes, Model trains, Dollars) Territoriality (Making & defending: Area, Building, Personal space) Building (Lair, Nest, Trap, Dam, Tent, House, City) Reconnaissance (Environment, Foes & Predators, Keeping guard) Body care (Preening, Washing, Grooming, Lipstick, Tattoo) Migration (Swarming, Nomadism, Vacation, Emigration) Resting (sleeping, waiting, sunning, napping, dolce far niente) Play (Social, Fight/Flight, Chasing, Mating, Building, Dolls games, Vacation)

The primal group as a base for modern groups © 2006 JP van de The primal group as a base for modern groups © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G COMMUNE FAMILY COMMUNITY FRIENDS RELIGION PRIMAL GROUP TRIBE CLAN CITYSTATE PEOPLE NATION LANGUAGE ARMY HUNTING WAR HIERARCHICAL ORGANISATION GUILDS INDUSTRIALORGANISATION COUNSEL POLITICS & CIVIL SERVANTS BAND PROJECTS

The social animal • Man is a social animal, thus great importance of – The social animal • Man is a social animal, thus great importance of – Groups (membership/reference; primary/secondary) – Sense of belonging (to family, friends, society etc. ) – Communication (Style, source, credibility) – Norms and rules – (Once borders of ‘Normal’ are passed, stopping is difficult) – Knowing how to rule, knowing how to obey • Man is a rational and flexible animal and thus – He easily accepts a replacement as the real thing • E. g. Nescafe, Twitter, drugs, prostitution, TV, canned vegs. • In our case: Cell phone communication

Some findings about human reactions • Man is essentially an animal, and in crisis Some findings about human reactions • Man is essentially an animal, and in crisis situations the more so: Not too much rationality, plenty habits & emotion • Normally as well as in crisis man is guided by habits • In disasters people try to help others and if someone becomes helpless himself he expects and looks for help. • But, to a strong degree, mainly to and from those he trusts • In crisis man will be primarily concerned and occupied with survival of his favorites (i. e. children, self and partner, mostly in this order) • These concerns will override all others • What man considers as his reference group will have much influence (see Gatekeepers)

II Thinking about the unthinkable Unfinished thoughts II Thinking about the unthinkable Unfinished thoughts

Two ways of thinking Two ways of thinking

DECISION MAKING MADE EASY DECISION MAKING MADE EASY

Decision making: the normal procedure Decision making: the normal procedure

Peace organisations Training period long Selection on managerial capacities Promotion based on avoiding blame Peace organisations Training period long Selection on managerial capacities Promotion based on avoiding blame Goals long term Democratic attitude and leadership Concern for correct procedures Sanctions for relatively small infractions Technical solutions for human problems Rivality between services and War organisations Training period short Selection on inspiration and enthousiasm Promotion based on results Goals short term Autoritarian attitude and leadership “Cutting the red tape” Polarisation in sanctions Human solutions for technical problems Superordinate goal reduces rivalities

Attitude • • If being rational is not so helpful, what is? The automatic Attitude • • If being rational is not so helpful, what is? The automatic answer to a societal problem is to try to influence the attitudes of people • For disaster management two attitudes are important 1. General attitude toward disasters 2. Personal attitude toward the use of precautions • These two seem to be rather independent • The attitudes can temporarily be influenced, but this has only a very small influence on behavior

Unintended consequences (Merton, 1936) • Policy aims at improvement of a state of affairs Unintended consequences (Merton, 1936) • Policy aims at improvement of a state of affairs • Measures proposed are aimed at those aspects of which the policy makers are conscious • There are many aspects of which one is not aware and which are consequently not included • The effect on these aspect thus is unforeseen • We call this: UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES • These can be so harmful, that their effect masks the positive consequences

Unintended consequences (Merton, 1936) Factor 1 Factor 2 + POLICY Factor 3 TIVE EFFECTS Unintended consequences (Merton, 1936) Factor 1 Factor 2 + POLICY Factor 3 TIVE EFFECTS Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 POSITIVE EFFECTS NEGA- -

An example: risk awareness • Risk awareness appears to covariate strongly with concern and An example: risk awareness • Risk awareness appears to covariate strongly with concern and loss of trust. (Eiser, Reicher & Podpadec, 1994) • It is not clear what causes what Risk awareness Fear, concern Loss of trust So: increasing risk awareness can have the unintended consequences of fear and loss of trust

10 unintended consequences of policy 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Through incessant rumination 10 unintended consequences of policy 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Through incessant rumination about possible disasters, we see more and more dangers and threats Thus more organisation is required By organising the preparations they become more rigid Emphasis on professionalization creates gaps An effect of professionalization is that the possibilities for participation of the public drops Thus, through professionalisation the efficacy of the public drops (when others think for you, you will stop thinking yourself) 7. Continuous and early warning lessens anticipation but may increase fear 8. Habituation to fear results in disinterest and distrust in public services 9. Disinterest and distrust may lead to aggression toward helpgivers 10. Perceived drop in risk leads to inceased risk taking (e. g. AIDS)

Probability of unintended consequences 1. The more complex a system, the greater the probability Probability of unintended consequences 1. The more complex a system, the greater the probability of UC 2. The more policy is based on ought instead of is, the greater the probability of UC 3. If a danger is relatively unknown, policy can raise attention to it, thus opening up new UC’s 4. Long term policy gives higher chance for short term UC’s and vice versa 5. If policy makers are not supported by the populace, their policies will engender sabotage 6. The more sabotage, the more UC

III CRISIS III CRISIS

CRISIS • Crisis is an interruption of the normal situation, that cannot be undone CRISIS • Crisis is an interruption of the normal situation, that cannot be undone by the available means – Effects: Uncertainty and arousal. Many norms cease to be valid • Crisis is unanticipated – Effect: No correct or fitting preparations (WTC) • During crisis we must choose between vague and contradictory options under high pressure. – Effect: faulty decision making • Crisis is serious. – Effect: Games politicians play are not relevant • Crisis is aversive for powerholders and those that are content – Effect: keeping your eyes shut for possible threats • Crisis is opportunity for ambitious powerless and malcontents – Effects: Grasping of opportunities for change. Raising turmoil

CRISIS & leadership • Cause: Serious disturbance of normal course of affairs and forms CRISIS & leadership • Cause: Serious disturbance of normal course of affairs and forms of organization • Effect: New norms and forms of organization are needed. • Unless these have often been rehearsed, this mostly results in CHAOS. THUS: LEADERHIP • In crisis people need direction. Any direction is better than none. • In crisis people look for leadership: condition for one direction • Leader must be someone that people can identify with • This implies much leader-public communication, of as personal a character as possible (precondition for charisma) • To be effective, leader must be seen as trustworthy

What makes a crisis serious? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of charismatic leadership What makes a crisis serious? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of charismatic leadership (identification) Preparation just for anticipated factors The degree of organization of the unity in crisis The lack of resilience of the organization The magnitude of consequences in loss of life, goods and money but also of power position IMPORTANT FACTORS • • Polarisation (Us/Them) Groupthink (time pressure, cohesion, closed leadership style) Organization style (small scale/flexible or large/rigid) Degree of experience of leaders and help givers

What happens in Crisis? • About 90% of behaviour consists of habits. When situation What happens in Crisis? • About 90% of behaviour consists of habits. When situation is abnormal habits lose their power: uncertainty and arousal • People want to check things out for themselves • Proverbial ‘real panic’ is very rare. Behaviour may seem strange because situation is strange • In crisis spontaneous projects arise, often in crowd-like situations • What is relevant for understanding is the subjective interpretation, not the objective circumstances • Therefore a great need is felt for news and intelligence, if these seem insufficient or untrustworthy, people listen to ‘improvised news’ : RUMOURS • If in official communications one small mistake is made, credibility evaporates

V Crisis communication V Crisis communication

Truth or relativism? • Things that people believe to be real, are real in Truth or relativism? • Things that people believe to be real, are real in their consequences (Thomas’ dictum) Truth may exist, but we can only experience it through our senses and cognitive apparatus (Kant, 1781) Or: • Truth is therefore not a useful concept • Truth is something like a value: you should strive towards it • The experience of truth depends on many factors, of which expectation and credibility of source are only two • Important are the emotional consequences of happenings • Two emotions are paramount in deciding about truth: • Fears and Wishes

Factors contributing to the impact of a message • Attention to source of message Factors contributing to the impact of a message • Attention to source of message • Noise, being occupied, lost GSM, or GSM not working • Perception of message • Visibility, bad eyes, not able to read • Understanding of total message • Language, Wording, length, emotional tone, signs of danger • Integrating message in own knowledge • Evaluation of message, congruity with situation • Knowing how to behave • Having insufficient knowledge to assimilate the full meaning • Having possibility to behave • Being constrained, taking care of others, being stuck NEGATIVE FACTORS WORK STRONGER UNDER STRESS

Simple model of communication © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTORTION Simple model of communication © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTORTION BY PROPERTIES fact sender medium PHYSICAL DISTORTION BY NOISE receiver

THE GATEKEEPER SYSTEM Mass communication mainly has an indirect effect Some people in a THE GATEKEEPER SYSTEM Mass communication mainly has an indirect effect Some people in a community are trusted by the others and they are influential in what is believed by the community, and what not They are the gatekeepers (Lewin, 1947) or connectors (Gladwell, The Tipping point, 2000) It is thus necessary and sufficient to identify and aim for these people

Preparation versus Improvisation 1 • Wildawsky: Anticipation versus Resilience • (only 10% of health Preparation versus Improvisation 1 • Wildawsky: Anticipation versus Resilience • (only 10% of health determinants is attributable to medical services) – Riskless society: Anticipation on everything? – No, too expensive and complicated – Especially when in crisis there should be an equilibrium between Preparation and Improvisation – Professionalisation makes all those who are not professionals te victims – We are relying more and more on professional preparation – The amount of procedures and norms is thus multiplied – This increases incoherence of professional preparation and lessens understandablility – It is possible to organise resilience (e. g. Defibrillators) – Can resilience be built in on a macro-level? • Stability of the whole is dependent on instability (resilience) of parts • Try to construct the whole such, that parts can be sacrificed (Rule of sacrifice) • This is the strength of so called primitive societies

Preparation versus Improvisation 2 © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G • Wildawsky: Preparation versus Improvisation 2 © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G • Wildawsky: Anticipation versus Resilience – Anticipation on everything? • Only anticipate on rather global categories, such as communication – Is resilience on a macro level possible? • Only if executives are organised in autonomous groups – Organisational form determines flexibility • The more small scale buffered interdependence, the better • Directions from upper level should be general, not specific EXAMPLE • Hierarchical (riot police) – Easy to command -Specific preparation possible – Little flexibility in functioning: thus tendency toward autonomous groups • Autonomous groups (fire brigandes) – Tasks are known and desire little coordination – Much waiting and doing nothing > seeking of new tasks – Leadership less crucial, coördination suffices

rigidity versus resilience © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G • Design leads rigidity versus resilience © 2006 JP van de Sande Ru. G • Design leads to rigidity – Made for a special purpose, not multifunctional – Once designed it is in principle finished – Rational product, but ratio uses small amount of factors – Made as a whole, so change in parts negative for whole – A new and revolutionary concept is not easily accepted • Slow growth leads to resilience – During growth many different goals are involved – Never finished, but continuous change – Design not rational, but trial & error – Continuous small changes are feasible – Therefore evolved systems are much more adaptive

The rest is up to you! The rest is up to you!

Some references • Drabek, Thomas (1986) Human System Responses to Disaster: An Inventory of Some references • Drabek, Thomas (1986) Human System Responses to Disaster: An Inventory of Sociological Findings. London. Springer-Verlag • Bazerman and Watkins (2004). Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming, and How to Prevent Them Boston: Harvard Business School Press • Deborah C. Glik (2007) Risk Communication for Public Health Emergencies Annual Review of Public Health, 28: 33 -54 • Geser Hans: Towards a Sociological Theory of the Mobile Phone. http: //socio. ch/mobile/t_geser 1. htm • http: //www. cabinetoffice. gov. uk/ukresilience/preparedness/resilient_t elecommunications/enhancing. aspx Br. Gov site on resilience, section communication • http: //understandingkatrina. ssrc. org/Wachtendorf_Kendra/ • http: //www. econlib. org/library/ENC/Riskless. Society. html paper by sociologist Wildawsky on our tendency to abolish all risk • http: //www. vandesandeinlezingen. nl/serv 03. htm Paper on principles of crowd psychology

Glik 2007 • Deborah C. Glik (2007) Risk Communication for Public Health Emergencies Annual Glik 2007 • Deborah C. Glik (2007) Risk Communication for Public Health Emergencies Annual Review of Public Health, 28: 33 -54 • Crisis risk communication has also been a large concern of researchers in the field of disasters. Relevant research has focused on disaster warnings, which are event specific and happen right before, during, or after an event. (92, 94). These warnings are different from general public hazard education, which involves general knowledge that can be transmitted independent of the hazardous event and would correspond to pre-event messages. Characteristics of the threat, characteristics of messages, how the warnings are communicated, and how the recipients process the information are all key determinants as to whether the public takes specific protective actions

Glik 2007 • Risk perceptions, defined as the subjective assessment of risk, increase when Glik 2007 • Risk perceptions, defined as the subjective assessment of risk, increase when the hazard is manmade, causes a dreaded disease or condition, is involuntary, is localized in one geographic area, is the source of disagreement among experts, is difficult to detect in regards to exposure, and is out of a person’s control (39, 43). • Other factors that increase perceptions of risk are actions that do not have a clear benefit, an untrusted source of risk information, and an agency responsible for risk management with a history of not caring (31, 99, 124). • Higher risk perceptions can stimulate proactive behaviors but because there is an emotional aspect, they can create resistance to risk communication and recommended actions (30, 39, 40, 41, 99, 123).

Glik 2007 • When people are upset, angry, fearful, outraged, under high stress, involved Glik 2007 • When people are upset, angry, fearful, outraged, under high stress, involved in conflict, or feel high concern, they often have difficulty processing information, which is particularly important to consider when they receive crisis risk communication. One aspect of this response is called mental noise theory (7, 31). This theory holds that when people are stressed, they are attending to a great deal of internal “mental noise” and are less able to attend to externally generated information (31). For bioterrorism or pandemic events, given the dread and uncertainty surrounding them, the likelihood is high that people will respond emotionally (30). • A second tenet of crisis risk communication is that when people are upset they often do not trust authority (113, 114). Linked to this is an idea called trust determination, which means that when people are distressed they often become distrustful and are less likely to accept the validity of communications (106, 113, 114, 131). • A third tenet, called negative dominance theory, holds that when people are upset they are more likely to listen to negative rather than positive reports, and they often give greater weight to negative than to positive information (31). Recent field experiments after 9/11 suggest that different types of emotional response also impact outlook: Those experiencing anger are generally more optimistic than are those experiencing fear and dread (77).

911 Crisis: Cell Phone Calls Clog Centers Sometimes Waiting Several Minutes to Speak to 911 Crisis: Cell Phone Calls Clog Centers Sometimes Waiting Several Minutes to Speak to an Operator Because of the Volume of Calls ABCnews Aug. 31, 2007 In some parts of the country, desperate callers to 911 are waiting several minutes for help -- minutes that are crucial in an emergency. Operators are blaming the delays on cell phones. Paul Rocha says he had to wait 10 minutes to report a serious traffic accident in California. "I got put on hold, " Rocha said. "The music played. Got an automated answer. " Meanwhile, Rocha said a woman was lying in the road with her ankle trapped under a motorcycle. Officials say the biggest reason the 911 lifeline is clogged is that because of the proliferation of cell phones, several people will often call in about the same incident. "One incident on the highway or freeway could result in literally hundreds of calls for the same incident, " said Assistant Chief Jon Lopey of the California Highway Patrol

UK resilience Following the bombs in London on 7 July 2005 at 08: 50, UK resilience Following the bombs in London on 7 July 2005 at 08: 50, by 10: 00 voice traffic on both fixed and mobile networks and SMS traffic on mobile networks had started to increase rapidly, reaching a peak at around 11: 00. Typically fixed telecommunications service providers were offering ten times as many calls as normal to mobile network operators. The picture was very different on the fixed infrastructure, typically the number of attempted calls increased by 75% compared to the previous week. On mobile networks, the pattern of use changed the average call duration rose by a factor of four from 2. 5 to 10 minutes. The number of SMS sessions typically increased by a factor of three and at peak demand, the delivery delay was typically between 90 – 150 minutes. By 14: 00 fixed line traffic had reduced to 20% above a typical day, tailing off by mid-evening. On mobile networks traffic back to normal by early evening.