Modelling the Degree of Emotional Concern: COVID-19 Response in Social Media
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COVID-19Emotional ProfileTwitterPleasure-arousal-dominance modelRussell Circumplex modelEmotional concernSearching behaviorSocial Media
Moreno Ortega, J.; Bernabé-Moreno, J. Modelling the Degree of Emotional Concern: COVID-19 Response in Social Media. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 3872. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093872
The massive impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left no one indifferent, becoming an unprecedented challenge. The use of protections such as sanitary masks has become increasingly common, restrictions in our daily lives, such as social distancing or confinements, have had serious consequences on the economy and our welfare state. Although the measures imposed throughout the world follow the same pattern, they have been applied with different criteria depending on the country. Over extended periods of time, people tend to change their perception of an event and its magnitude, or in other words, they stop being so concerned despite the seriousness of the matter. In this paper, we introduce a new metric to quantify the degree of emotional concern of people being affected by a topic, and we confirm how populations from different countries follow this trend of downplaying the effect of the pandemic and reach a state of indifference. To do this, we propose a method to analyze the social media stream over time extracting the different emotional states from the Russel Circumplex plane and computing the shifting created by the tragic event—the pandemic. We complete this metric by incorporating searching behavior to reflect not only push contents but also pull inquiries. The resulting metric establishes a relationship between the pandemic and the emotional response by defining the degree of Emotional Concern. Although the method can be applied to any location with a significant and varied amount of geo-localized social media streams, the scope of this paper covers the most representative cities in Europe.