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A Moveable Beast: Subjective Influence of Human-Animal Relationships on Risk Perception, and Risk Behaviour during Bushfire Threat

By Katie Osborn, Joshua L. Trigg, Kirrilly Thomspon, Bradley Smith, Pauleen Bennett

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

This article examines how human-animal connections influence risk perception and behaviour in companion animal guardians exposed to bushfire threat in Australia. Although the objective role of psychological bonds with companion animals is well accepted by researchers, subjective interpretations of these bonds by animal guardians are relatively underexamined in this context. We argue that the ways in which connections with pets and other animals are represented influences different forms of safety-risk perception and behaviour when managing animals’ safety in the face of disaster threat. Thematic analysis of 21 semi-structured interviews with South Australian residents in bushfire-affected areas supported the role of the human-animal bond in shaping risk perception, and influencing engagement in risk-behaviour. Influential factors included animals’ “life value,” “relative versus absolute” risk framing, the “constellation of bonds,” and “action paralysis” when facing threat. Implications for future research in decision-making and risk propensities of animal guardians facing disaster threat alongside their pets are then discussed.

Date 2016
Publication Title The Qualitative Report
Volume 21
Issue 10
ISBN/ISSN 1052-0147
Publisher Nova Southeastern University
Location of Publication 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
URL http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol21/iss10/9/
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Katie Osborn; Joshua L. Trigg; Kirrilly Thomspon; Bradley Smith; Pauleen Bennett (2018), "A Moveable Beast: Subjective Influence of Human-Animal Relationships on Risk Perception, and Risk Behaviour during Bushfire Threat," http://habricentral.org/resources/61773.

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Tags
  1. Pet ownership
  2. Pets and companion animals
  3. risk
  4. Thematic Analysis