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Communicating resiliency in the context of physical and social safety


The individual resilience is important for coping adequately with risks or unsafe situations, resulting in reduction of the risk or the unsafety. When is a person able to cope? Does one know what to do? Does one have enough risk awareness to be willing to prepare oneself for these risks or unsafe situations?

In previous years many PCRS students performed empirical studies resulting in an increase of academic knowledge in this domain. However, there are enough questions to be answered !

Theoretically there is a strong focus on social-psychological concepts and hypothetical models like Protection Motivation Theory and Extended Parallel Process Model. These models find their origin in the context of ‘health promotion’, and are being applied in the context of risk and safety. Characteristic of the approach is the focus on transferring and seeking of risk related information (risk communication).

This approach has been applied in risk domains as flooding (still very relevant), fire safety in the living area, forest fires, extreme weather, hazardous production processes or transportation of hazardous material, burglary prevention, social safety, etc).

For the risk communication processes it seems of major importance through which communication channels the risk message finds the citizen, that might or might not be aware of the risk. Of course, the number of different communication tools is enormous, but Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and specifically designed tools (NL-Alert, Amber Alert, BuurtApp) are very recent developments in the risk communication domain.

Research questions will be decided upon with the student, but examples are:

  • The firmness of a hypothetical/conceptual framework and the choice of concepts.
  • The validity and consistency of research tools.
  • The effectiveness of risk communication tools to stimulate resiliency.
  • The added value of tools like Social Media and NL-alert.

type of Research

Experimental, survey, which best fits with  the research question.


Please contact Jan Gutteling ( when you are interested in this assignment.


2017/2018 Semester 2


Additional research literature is available.