Dr Ilona McNeill

Alt Project Leader
Dr Ilona McNeill

Dr Ilona McNeill is a Research Fellow in Social Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on:

1. Risk-mitigating behaviours: How can we best encourage and enable residents of hazard prone areas to increase the performance of risk-mitigating behaviours? How can the role of disaster management agencies in encouraging and enabling preparedness and planning amongst residents be improved?

2. Understanding individual differences: Dr McNeill’s work also focuses on understanding how individual differences in personality and self-regulation play a role in the performance of risk-mitigating behaviours.

Project leadership

The increasing frequency and complexity of natural hazards poses a challenge for community resilience. Communication and education of risk mitigation strategies play an essential role in building and maintaining resilience through preparation and planning by residents.

This project, now in its utilisation phase, has combined expertise in communication, social and consumer psychology, and disaster and emergency management. It identified barriers and enablers in residents’ decision making, preparing, and planning by examining residents’ intended use of different types of triggers for action during hazards. This included when to start evacuating and what information source to use, with the aim of trying to understand why some residents form a better-quality household plan with safer intended triggers than other residents.

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