Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Technology Leadership and Innovation

First Advisor

Mihaela Vorvoreanu

Second Advisor

J. Eric Dietz

Third Advisor

Karen Freberg

Committee Chair

Mihaela Vorvoreanu

Committee Co-Chair

J. Eric Dietz

Committee Member 1

Karen Freberg


Social media has recently attracted much attention as an emergency management tool. Providing public emotional support is one of the aspects of emergency management where social media can be extremely useful. However, before we can effectively use social media for this purpose, we need to fully understand the dynamics of emotions on social media platforms. This study contributes to this understanding. In this thesis I look into the emotional expressions on Twitter following the 2014 Purdue shooting incident. I analyze how different types of users emotionally reacted to the incident during the critical one and a half hours following the shooting. Various types of emotions and their trends over this time period are described and analyzed. Moreover, I give some suggestions for providing effective emotional support using social media in times of crisis.

Included in

Communication Commons