Our new paper has been published in Science of the Total Environment (Impact Factor: 7.963). Below please find the abstract:
"Climate extremes will be intensified and become more frequent. One of the regions where this is the case is the U.S. Gulf coast region. This region is susceptible to the impacts of climate extremes. This region has recently experienced large amounts of economic damages caused by high-impact hurricanes and floods. Meanwhile, drought can also pose serious risks once it occurs. By using a 2019 U.S. Gulf Coast survey combined with Standard Precipitation Index, we closely examined retrospective and prospective evaluations of drought and flood among coastal residents. Drawing upon literature on human-environment system, we were interested in how the objective conditions of past drought and flood influenced individual’s perceptions of these hazards and how their retrospective evaluations were correlated with their prospective evaluations of future trends of these hazards. Coastal residents’ retrospective evaluations of past drought and flood were found to be influenced by historic objective conditions. Higher drought frequencies were found to increase the probability of perceiving increasing trend of drought number in the past. Higher flood frequencies were found to decrease the probability of perceiving increasing trend of flood number in the past. Higher intensities of drought and flood were found to increase the probabilities of perceiving increasing trends of drought duration and flood amount in the past. Coastal residents’ prospective evaluations of future drought and flood were found to be influenced by retrospective evaluations of these hazards, suggesting the temporal continuity in human judgement. Moreover, those who relied on a longer time span in reference to the future were found to be more likely to perceive increasing trends of drought and flood. We ended this paper by proposing a theoretical framework to guide future studies and discussing policy implications."
Core Figure - Figure 4. Retrospective evaluations of drought and flood risk and association with objective conditions (a) and their correlations with prospective evaluations of drought and flood risk (b). In (a), filled circles, circles with cross, empty circles depict the frequency, duration, intensity, respectively, of drought (red) and flood (blue). In (b) filled (empty) circles depict retrospective evaluations on past drought and flood numbers (past drought duration and past flood amount). The bars represent confidence intervals of all the estimated coefficients (Shao and Kam, 2020)
In a new paper that has been published in Social Science & Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.634), we studied the factors on risk perceptions of COVID-19. Below please find the abstract:
COVID-19 poses an unprecedented level of risks to the public health and well-being in the United States. This pandemic has led to cascading effects such as rapidly rising unemployment rate, deteriorating mental health, and disturbed stock market among others. This disease presents an opportunity for social scientists to conduct a timely study of American public perceptions of risks associated with COVID-19.
Due to a great amount of uncertainties surrounding this disease, the public has to rely upon authorities for information and guidance. In this study, we aim to answer this overarching question: how does confidence in political leaders shape American public risk perceptions of COVID-19?
Based on a nationally representative data conducted in March 2020, we use latent mean comparison analysis and Structural Equation Modelling to make several findings.
First, confidence in political leaders can reduce risk perceptions of this disease. Second, conservatives show lower risk perceptions than liberals and moderates. Third, confidence in political leaders has mediating effects among conservatives and white Americans, where conservatives and white Americans who have more confidence in political leaders show lower risk perceptions of COVID-19 than other conservatives and white Americans who have less confidence.
These results highlight the enormous challenges facing policy makers who intend to design and implement national public health policies in this polarized environment.