PSAWaP/SAWaB (2018-2020)

PSAWaP – Psychological and Social Aspects of Warnings for the Population/
SAWaB – Sozialwissenschaftliche Betrachtung verschiedener Aspekte der Warnung der Bevölkerung

Funded by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe)

Funding Period: February 2018 – April 2020

Project Partner: FinkA will cooperate with the Chair of Health & Prevention Psychology of Prof. Dr. Silke Schmidt at the Ernst Moritz Arndt University in Greifswald


Project Description:

The warning systems in Germany such as the satellite-based warning system (SatWaS) or the modular warning system (MoWaS) are technically well developed. Until now, the focus in warning research and development is mainly technical. PSAWaP research goal is the scientific examination of requirements for the effective and efficient application of technical warning systems from a psychological and sociological perspective.

The project examines psychological and social aspects of warnings for the population in Germany for different scenarios. The project uses a mixed-method approach with a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data. Warning message texts prepared by several government agencies are analyzed. A quantitative study, using a heterogeneous sample, examines the information needs and preferences of different sub-segments of the population. The credibility and comprehensibility of the prepared texts are evaluated in an experimental setting. The results lead to proposals for the optimization of warning texts. Recommendations for actors in civil protection concerning the structure and content of warnings are derived.