Background: It has been recently reported that the preparedness of the Israeli public to a war scenario is mediocre. These findings suggest a need to study the psychosocial mechanisms behind individual motivation to engage in preparedness behavior. One component of these mechanisms is the perception of threat. The purpose of this study is to portray the perception of the threat of war by the Israeli public and to deduce possible implications for resilience-promoting policies. Methods: Portions of the data accumulated in a telephone-based random sampling of 503 households (representing the Israeli population) performed in October 2013 were utilized to examine the perception of the threat of war by Israelis. The questionnaire was used to examine the level of household preparedness, as well as attitudes toward perception of threat, preparedness responsibility, willingness to search for information, and sense of preparedness. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the correlations between different components of threat perception, and to evaluate the preparedness promoting features of specific perception factors. Results: The data suggest that the perception of threat is influenced by different socio-demographic factors. In particular, age, religion and education seem to play an important role in the perception of threat. Compared to data collected almost a decade ago, the likelihood perception and threat intrusiveness rates were significantly reduced. The regression analysis suggests that perception of the severity of the impact on a family's routine and willingness to search for information, two known preparedness promoting factors, can be predicted by various socio-demographic and threat perception components. Conclusion: The data suggest that the Israeli public, post the Second Lebanon War (2006) and the Gaza conflicts of 2009 and 2012, perceives the probabilities of war and being affected by it as diminished. The Israeli public demonstrates what can be considered as the unique characteristics of a war-victimized population. Implications for a future resilience-promoting policy were discussed.
- Perception of threat