The Behavior of Spontaneous Volunteers: A Discrete Choice Experiment on the Decision to Help

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2020-01-07
Authors
Lindner, Sebastian
Herrmann, Christoph
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Modern communication technology has enabled new ways to exchange information and is one of the main drivers for citizens’ participation in disaster response. During the last decades, so-called spontaneous volunteers have become an important resource in coping with disasters. However, their unpredictable behavior has also led to several problems. Disaster managers urgently need insights into volunteers’ behavior to effectively use the offered potential. To gain and provide these insights into explaining what drives the decision to help, we performed a discrete choice experiment based on previously identified behavior-affecting attributes. Our results indicate that attributes like the scale of the disaster and the media coverage are among the most important factors in the decision to help. The model correctly predicts volunteers’ scenario-specific decisions with an accuracy of 65\%. Hence, the experiment offers valuable insights into volunteers’ behaviors for disaster research and is a sound foundation for decision support for disaster management.
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Disaster Information, Technology, and Resilience, agent-based simulation, decision support, discrete choice experiment, spontaneous volunteer, volunteer behavior
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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