top of page

Toshio Koike


Breakout Room 2.


psychology; consilience; facilitator; virtual reality

How can the human dimensions of disaster impacts be more accurately captured and represented in the analysis, modeling and simulation of disasters?

The issue of changing people's emergency actions has been proven very difficult and is thus referred to as "The last-mile challenges." There is a gap between "I know it" and "I will do it." Between "knowledge" and "behavior;" we can identify several psychological steps such as "I am interested in it (interest);" "I want to commit to it (motive);" and "If I have a chance; I will do it at any time (intention)." To move from the previous step to the next; we can recognize several psychological determinants: a sense of crisis; responsibility; effectiveness; feasibility; cost-benefit and moral standard. These determinants can be fostered by feedback from actual experience; of course. Training using virtual reality is also effective in filling the gap between knowledge and behavior. We may make inaccurate judgments and illogical interpretations due to various cognitive biases. Daniel Kahneman; who established "Behavioral Economy;" clarified a mechanism of the thought process that goes into every decision we make. Richard Thaler proposed a way of "nudge;" that is; "to push someone gently; usually with the elbow; to get their attention;" but not a way of "nag;" that is; "to keep complaining to someone about their behavior." To clarify deep psychological levels which control our consciousness in the context of people's emergency actions; and support the gap filling between knowledge and behavior; it is effective to integrate the "Online Synthesis System for Sustainability and Resilience (OSS-SR)" as a key knowledge base of each Platform and foster "Facilitators" as trustable human resources.

What type of data and supporting research infrastructure would be necessary to enable novel, transdisciplinary approaches to answering these and other human-centered disaster questions?

After a disaster; it is important to share vital lessons from disasters by promoting recovery and community of practice; building museums; heritage and geopark; and encouraging tourism and the arts. By improving data and information archiving; exhibition; education and research based on the effective use of OSS-SR; we can produce more opportunities for healing and sharing experiences; and then promote consilience. By strengthening networks; we can spread practical activities widely across the community; nation; region and beyond. To support these activities; we need to strengthen the roles of Facilitators; that is; catalytic beings who can lead the way toward resolving problems by providing professional advice on-site using a broad range of scientific and indigenous knowledge. In these ways; we can keep memories alive; pass them on; and share them. Then; we can revitalize society and ensure sustainability. We must make the most of this convening power for constructing resilient societies. Virtual reality (VR) experiments also function effectively to understand the interaction mechanisms between actions for disaster risk reduction and psychological processes. We must make efforts to integrate field surveys and VR experiments and generalize their relationships.

In what ways can US-Japan collaborations advance these questions in new and important ways?

Based on the experiences and lessons through many serious disasters; both the US and Japan have been improving capacities of prediction; prevention; response; and recovery. By co-developing an OSS-SR and co-fostering Facilitators; the US and Japan can promote academic research on disaster risk reduction available on the internet to create integrated stories which provide the understanding about how people or society go through disasters of various kinds. By organizing a US-Japan joint research team; we should try to develop theoretical frameworks and methodologies for field surveys and experiments. The team should implement surveys and experiments in each country by focusing on commonalities and differences between the US and Japan in actions for DRR and psychological processes. Based on the data obtained by the surveys and experiments; the joint team should organize collaborative research on inter-comparison analyses; model development; and knowledge integration.

bottom of page