RAPID: Understanding Global Human Behavior Changes in Response to COVID-19 Through Expatriate Experiences

Project: Research project

Project Details


RAPID: Understanding Global Human Behavior Changes in Response to COVID-19 Through Expatriate Experiences RAPID: Understanding Global Human Behavior Changes in Response to COVID-19 Through Expatriate Experiences Project Summary Our interdisciplinary research focuses on human behaviors and their impact on the COVID-19 pandemic through concepts from disaster research, medical and sociocultural anthropology, business studies, and psychology. To effectively track and understand changing human behavior around the world during this unanticipated event, the project focuses on a specific group of individuals able to provide culturally-rich understandings, while also ensuring measurement tools of perceptions are valid due to their shared background. With our target population of Americans, expatriates, and host country nationals (HCN), our study provides an opportunity for comparison of socioculturally similar groups on a global scale during the pandemic. Our multi-phase study uses the framework of expatriate identity theory to focus on (1) local observation-based analysis utilizing picture evidence of essential businesses, (2) survey and semi-structured interviews with people from key global locations, and (3) a systematic news media analysis from November 2019 through present. Results from the study will not only provide understanding of expatriate perceptions and adjustment during a pandemic but also identify key human behaviors and their varying type and level of impact on the global spread of COVID-19. Researchers will develop a dynamic model utilizing the key variables and contextual evidence from the study for the purposes of demonstrating effective behavioral strategies to halt spread of COVID-19. Intellectual Merit A crucial goal of this project is to advance knowledge and understanding of what human behaviors cease the spread of COVID-19 by providing a contextually rich set of results based on anthropology, business, disaster, and psychology frameworks. By building on expatriate identity theory, this study will extend adjustment frameworks to consider the expatriate experience (including sociopolitical context), their social network, and their sociocultural perceptions on trust, rights, and identity during a pandemic. Use of social networks for the global expatriate community will also bolster current knowledge on resilience and disaster response by leveraging concepts from developmental theory such as stress and positive transformations. This project will be a basis for comparison of expatriate experiences using sociopolitical differences, social networks, understandings, and perceptions of effective behavioral changes to expand knowledge of the global expatriate community during a pandemic. Broader Impacts Findings from this three-phase study will contribute towards identifying human behaviors with significant impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. Using these behaviors, the research team will develop a dynamic model to demonstrate how they can be utilized for positive impact in this ongoing situation. Moreover, through understanding the expatriates relationships to their host country and the United States, public health policy makers will be able to create more effective recommendations and requirements. Our mixed-method analysis will provide results for recommendations locally, nationally, and globally as environment, sociopolitical infrastructures, and sociocultural understandings are considered within our theoretical and methodological frameworks. On a larger scale, the dynamic model will serve as a significant source in providing information to clarify and prioritize actions which need to be taken. In addition, this model is designed as a method to both minimize the effects of COVID-19 and be utilized in the event of another global pandemic.
Effective start/end date6/1/202/28/23


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $9,977.00


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