Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

First Advisor

Su Jung Kim


Emotion is one of the most important indicators of the stakeholders’ interpretation of crisis situation; however, little research has paid enough attention to how publics experience different types of emotions in different crisis clusters. The purpose of this study is to investigate how publics’ emotional responses vary in three different crisis clusters: victim cluster, accidental cluster and preventable cluster. A content analysis of 1,800 publics’ postings to nine crisis cases (three cases in each crisis cluster) posted on these nine organizations’ official Facebook pages or official websites reveals that publics feel a range of different emotions in crisis situations, including anger, anxiety, fright, sadness, sympathy, disappointment, alertness and gratefulness. In addition, different primary emotions are expressed by publics in three different crisis clusters. Anger is the dominant emotion in preventable crisis, and also is the most frequently expressed emotion in accidental crisis. However, in victim crisis cases, sadness is the most frequently expressed emotion by publics. Overall, the findings indicate the significant role of public’s emotional response in a crisis. Also, the findings demonstrate a potential for developing an effective corporate response strategy in a given crisis situation, considering the crisis cluster and publics’ emotional response.


Copyright Owner

Lianshan Zhang



File Format


File Size

69 pages