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Space-time dependence of emotions on Twitter after a natural disaster


Garske, Sonja I; Elayan, Suzanne; Sykora, Martin; Edry, Tamar; Grabenhenrich, Linus B; Galea, Sandro; Lowe, Sarah R; Gruebner, Oliver (2021). Space-time dependence of emotions on Twitter after a natural disaster. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(10):5292.

Abstract

Natural disasters can have significant consequences for population mental health. Using a digital spatial epidemiologic approach, this study documents emotional changes over space and time in the context of a large-scale disaster. Our aims were to (a) explore the spatial distribution of negative emotional expressions of Twitter users before, during, and after Superstorm Sandy in New York City (NYC) in 2012 and (b) examine potential correlations between socioeconomic status and infrastructural damage with negative emotional expressions across NYC census tracts over time. A total of 984,311 geo-referenced tweets with negative basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, sadness, shame) were collected and assigned to the census tracts within NYC boroughs between 8 October and 18 November 2012. Global and local univariate and bivariate Moran’s I statistics were used to analyze the data. We found local spatial clusters of all negative emotions over all disaster periods. Socioeconomic status and infrastructural damage were predominantly correlated with disgust, fear, and shame post-disaster. We identified spatial clusters of emotional reactions during and in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster that could help provide guidance about where immediate and long-term relief measures are needed the most, if transferred to similar events and on comparable data worldwide.

Abstract

Natural disasters can have significant consequences for population mental health. Using a digital spatial epidemiologic approach, this study documents emotional changes over space and time in the context of a large-scale disaster. Our aims were to (a) explore the spatial distribution of negative emotional expressions of Twitter users before, during, and after Superstorm Sandy in New York City (NYC) in 2012 and (b) examine potential correlations between socioeconomic status and infrastructural damage with negative emotional expressions across NYC census tracts over time. A total of 984,311 geo-referenced tweets with negative basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, sadness, shame) were collected and assigned to the census tracts within NYC boroughs between 8 October and 18 November 2012. Global and local univariate and bivariate Moran’s I statistics were used to analyze the data. We found local spatial clusters of all negative emotions over all disaster periods. Socioeconomic status and infrastructural damage were predominantly correlated with disgust, fear, and shame post-disaster. We identified spatial clusters of emotional reactions during and in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster that could help provide guidance about where immediate and long-term relief measures are needed the most, if transferred to similar events and on comparable data worldwide.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Pollution
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Language:English
Date:16 May 2021
Deposited On:26 May 2021 15:10
Last Modified:27 Jan 2022 06:58
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1660-4601
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105292
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)