How Strongly Do We Practice Altruistic Behavior in a Crisis Situation? An Analysis on Altruistic Language Networks in Disasters


Seol A Kwon, Eugene Song, Jae Eun Lee

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Humankind is entering an era in which daily life itself is a disaster due to severe climate change, an economic crisis that has permeated since 2008, and new infectious diseases. The purpose of this study is to explore the human nature and behaviors in disasters in the context of universal human behavior with habitual and institutionalized styles. This study sought to find an answer to question ‘What do humans do in the face of infectious diseases and fears caused by the emergence of new viruses in modern society?’ This exploratory study on the altruistic nature of humans in disaster adopted text mining through social networks and analyzed a total of 44,411 media articles about altruism and three infectious diseases. An extensive search of words related to the diseases was conducted, including “sharing,” “comforting,” “rescuing,” “devoting,” “helping,” “caring,” “transferring,” and “cooperating.” The results showed that during disasters, humans are very cooperative and help restore and rebuild society and their community through various altruistic behaviors.


Ⅰ. Introduction
Ⅱ. Theoretical Background
1. Disasters and altruism
2. Altruism Factor
Ⅲ. Sample and Measure
Ⅳ. Analysis & Findings
1. Sharing
2. Comforting
3. Caring
4. Rescuing
5. Devoting
6. Helping
7. Transferring
8. Cooperating
Ⅴ. Summary and Implication


  • Seol A Kwon National Crisisonomy Institute, Chungbuk National University
  • Eugene Song Department of Consumer Studies, Chungbuk National University
  • Jae Eun Lee Department of Public Administration, Chungbuk National University


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