3D or not 3D? Evaluation of the effectiveness of 3D-enhanced warning messages for communication in crisis situations

Grzegorz Banerski, Katarzyna Abramczuk, Cezary Biele

2020 SAFETY SCIENCE, T. 132, s. 104961

A common problem in crisis situations is the unwillingness of the local communities to undertake individual safety measures. This study examined whether the motivation of the local population can be increased if 3D animation are used for visualization of the potential disaster scenarios. Furthermore, the study aimed at finding out how the use of such material affects the ability of the audience to remember what preventive actions should be taken.
As part of the experiment, three versions of a video message about flood threat were prepared: a video limited to the presenter with no additional elements in the background, a classic TV-like video message format, and a video featuring 3D visualisations of the consequences of flooding. The videos were presented to groups of subjects who live in flood-prone areas. Protection Motivation Theory was used as the experiment’s framework.
We found that the type of warning message did not influence the level of acquired knowledge of protective actions. Important differences were found in the structure of the determinants of self-protective motivation across the groups. The group that watched the 3D enhanced video was the only one in which the more emotional cognitive path of threat appraisal had a significant impact on the level of motivation. As regards the level of motivation to take protective actions, the observed effects were more complex than expected. The paper discusses the potential impact of the results on efficient risk communication design and the usefulness of the use of 3D animation in warning messages.