JDR Vol.19 No.2 pp. 396-407
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2024.p0396


Cross-Cultural Comparison of Mood Perception During Initial Pandemic Response

Karri Flinkman*1,†, Claudio Feliciani*1,*2 ORCID Icon, Hwajin Lim*3 ORCID Icon, Hiroki Kuroha*3, Sae Kondo*4 ORCID Icon, Chikako Goto*3, and Hideki Koizumi*1 ORCID Icon

*1School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Corresponding author

*2Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

*3Graduate School of Environmental and Information Studies, Tokyo City University
Tokyo, Japan

*4Graduate School of Engineering, Mie University
Tsu, Japan

October 4, 2023
February 26, 2024
April 1, 2024
COVID-19, pandemic response, culture, mood, perception

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a major global event. Countless restrictions and recommendations have revealed novel insights into the everyday lives of people, which are far from uniform across cultures. In this explorative study, the mood perception of people from “individualistic” (Finland) and “collectivistic” (Japan and South Korea) cultures were studied via self-administered questionnaires at the time of major social restrictions (spring–summer of 2020) when the sociocultural effect of the pandemic was at its strongest. A simple measure of “recent mood perception” forms the core of the analysis, against which various factors were analyzed. Such coarse measures fit well with cross-cultural research, for more specific experiences typically do not translate very well between cultures. Somewhat surprisingly, almost no “constant” measures (e.g., occupation, household structure) proved to be significantly correlated with recent mood, whereas the degree of “changes” in personal situation (time spent home, number of people met, and so on, before and after the outbreak) proved to be significant factors, highlighting contextuality and mindset. Further, difference between “individualistic” and “collectivistic” cultures was also observed. These results highlight the vital importance of not only observing consistent phenomena but also recognizing changes and understanding the unique perspectives and experiences individuals have of them. Depending on the context, an objectively same thing can evoke vastly different perceptions.

Cite this article as:
K. Flinkman, C. Feliciani, H. Lim, H. Kuroha, S. Kondo, C. Goto, and H. Koizumi, “Cross-Cultural Comparison of Mood Perception During Initial Pandemic Response,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.19 No.2, pp. 396-407, 2024.
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Last updated on Apr. 05, 2024