`Disasterman' talks with CBS about response to earthquake

Dr. Matthew Davis, professor of psychology, talked with several media outlets, including KCBS Radio in San Francisco and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in the days following the August 24 Northern California earthquake. Davis is a disaster psychologist whose research focuses on how people respond to natural disaster, as well as attitudes toward disaster preparedness.

Davis began teaching full-time at Dominican in 1994 in the Department of Psychology in Dominican's School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He regularly teaches courses in social psychology, social influence, statistics and research, human sexuality, media psychology, and a specialty course called “Natural Disasters: Societal & Individual Reactions to Risk”. In 2011 he developed a course on the psychology of travel.

Davis, whose nickname on campus is “Disasterman”, has completed two large-scale research projects on public awareness of volcanic hazards in the vicinity of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy, as well as studies of risk perception for volcanic hazards at Mt. Rainier, Washington, and tsunami hazards along the northern California coast.

Most recently, Davis has been involved in research evaluating the psychological effects of participating in "Get Ready Marin" and CERT disaster preparedness training sessions in Marin County.

Davis earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, his M.A. in experimental social psychology from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Some of his recent presentations include:
•    Davis, M.S. (2013). Psychological Aspects of Risk Perception and Preparedness for Natural Disasters. Paper to be presented at the Athens Institute for Education and Research, 7th Annual Conference, Athens, Greece, May, 2013.
•    Davis, M.S. & Leeds, C. (2013). Tolerance for Political Diversity on a University Campus.  Paper to be presented at the Western Psychological Association conference, Reno, Nevada, April, 2013.
•    Davis, M.S. (2012).  Developing a Course on the Psychology of Travel.  Paper presented at the Athens Institute for Education and Research, 6th Annual Conference,  Athens, Greece, May, 2012.
•    Davis, M.S. (2012).  The Emergency Mind. Invited keynote address at Really Ready 3: Long-Term Care Disaster Preparedness Conference, Sacramento, California, January 25, 2012.
•    Davis, M.S., Rubinstein, J. & Lemp, S. (2011). Community Disaster Preparedness Training:  The Psychological Impact on Participants. Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association conference, Los Angeles, California, May, 2011.

CLICK HERE  to watch an earlier KRON-TV (San Francisco) interview with Dr. Davis: