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DIGZOOM: Hannah Metzler

Time Thursday 25 March, 2021 at 15:00 - 16:30
Place Zoom

DIGZOOM seminar with Hannah Metzler:

Collective Emotions During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world's population to sudden challenges that elicited strong emotional reactions. While investigations of responses to tragic one-off events exist, studies on the evolution of collective emotions during a pandemic are missing. We analysed the digital traces of emotional expressions in tweets during five weeks after the start of outbreaks in 18 countries and six different languages. We observed an early strong upsurge of anxiety-related terms in all countries, consistent with the notion that social sharing amplifies initial emotional responses. Sadness-terms rose and anger-terms decreased about two weeks later in most countries, when casualties increased and social distancing measures were implemented. Positive emotions remained relatively stable. Our results show some of the most enduring changes in emotional expression observed in long periods of social media data. This kind of time-sensitive analyses of large-scale samples of emotional expression have the potential to inform mental health support and help tailor risk communication.

Hannah Metzler
Hannah Metzler is a postdoc at the Complexity Science Hub, Vienna, and the Public Health Centre at Medical University of Vienna. She did her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Sorbonne University and École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Hannah’s research interests lie in the field of social cognition and behavior, including social power and affiliation, nonverbal and intergroup behavior, emotion, face perception and stress responses. Hannah is part of the open science community and strives to make research more transparent and reproducible. In her current research, Hannah applies social computational science approaches to investigate emotions and social behavior at the collective level, as well as potential contributions of the media to suicide prevention.

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Organizer: DIGSUM
Event type: Seminar