Natural Hazards

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 269–287 | Cite as

Perception of flood risk in Danube Delta, Romania

  • Iuliana Armaş
  • Eugen Avram
Original Paper


For exposed and vulnerable communities, the perception of natural risk is an essential link in the analysis of man–environment coping relationship and also an important parameter in the quantification of complex vulnerability as a central predictive variable in the risk equation. The topic of flood risk in related perception is of considerable interest, as some recently published papers have proven (Messner and Meyer 2005, 2006; Raaijmakers et al. 2008). The aim of the current study is to reveal the conscious and unconscious attitudes towards the flood risk for the inhabitants of the Danube Delta/Romania. These attitudes, defined by different degrees of psychological vulnerability, represent the background for a series of psycho-behavioural patterns that generate certain adjustment mechanisms and strategies. Application of a specially designed questionnaire and the statistical analysis of the results revealed two psychological factors as essential in establishing the psychosocial vulnerability degree of the interviewed subjects: (i) an internal control factor and (ii) an external control factor. The persons characterized by inner control have a significantly reduced general anxiety level in comparison to individuals with the control factor placed externally. As confidence diminishes, it increases the tendency of the individual to rely on the external factors for support and security. The lack of resources (indicating lower resilience) and mistrust in the support given emphasizes non-adaptive behaviours.


Natural hazards perception Vulnerability Cognitive dissonance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of GeographyUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

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