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Psychological impact of Japan disaster will be felt 'for some time to come'
Date:3/17/2011

prone to disasters such as in Japan are often prepared through simulation exercises. The importance of this is not only to rehearse what to do in the event of a disaster, but also to increase our sense of control over the situation. This is can be a powerful way to create resilience, according to Dr Osman.

The lab experiments Dr Osman has conducted show that even when a situation is unpredictable and seems to be spiralling out of control, and when people are encouraged to believe they have control over the situation, they tend to be better able to exert control. She said: "Ironically, the illusion of control can actually help to generate a real sense of control."

"Setting goals is the best way of helping to exert or take back control. Working towards goals helps us to gain a lot of information about a situation. Goals act like a yardstick to compare future events against. This helps to reduce our feelings of insecurity because it gives us a way of interpreting the good and bad experiences that happen.

"Evidence from the lab suggests that we don't always do what is best to gain information and gain control in the long term; typically we overreact to massive changes, when the best thing to do is be steadfast."


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Contact: Bridget Dempsey
b.dempsey@qmul.ac.uk
44-207-882-7454
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

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