Societal, Public, and [Emotional] Epidemiological Aspects of a Pandemic

  • Christy Duan
  • Howard Linder
  • Damir Huremović


Behavior contagion in social psychology studies collective behavior under certain (usually stressful) circumstances and propagation of attitudes, emotional responses, and behaviors in anxiety-ridden situations. It is of great importance to understand how behavior contagion can herald, mirror, and match the actual physical contagion of an infectious illness in an outbreak. “Emotional epidemiology” is a term increasingly used to describe studying the emotional and cognitive-behavioral aspects of a pandemic. Utilizing facts and reliable epidemiological models in public communication is an important step toward extinguishing the anxiety-inducing uncertainties, rumors, and speculations. This chapter, at the end, includes a glossary of terms that will allow mental health professionals to converse competently with infectious disease colleagues, and also help relay that information to the general public.


Contagion theory Gustave Le Bon Emotional contagion Mass hysteria Emotional epidemiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christy Duan
    • 1
  • Howard Linder
    • 2
  • Damir Huremović
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryZucker Hillside HospitalAstoriaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryZucker Hillside HospitalGlen OaksUSA
  3. 3.North Shore University HospitalManhassetUSA

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