Daily Emotions among Hong Kong Residents during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Social Interactions
2:00 pm
Room 3301 (Lift 17-18), 3/F, Academic Building, HKUST


Face-to-face social interactions were restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the social distancing measure. Although the deprived social interactions were assumed to have adversely impacted emotional well-being, the interplay between daily emotions and social interactions during the social distancing periods was not thoroughly studied. Using social media data since the beginning of COVID-19 from December 2019 to May 2022, Study 1 mapped the emotion trajectories of Hong Kong people over 30 months and their relationship with the social distancing measures. The result showed an overall positive emotion trajectory despite the social distancing measures. To explore the reasons behind the overall pleasant emotion during social distancing, Study 2 used a diary method to examine the relationship between different types of social interactions and daily emotions and how it varied with personality. The results showed that the pleasantness of both face-to-face and non-face-to-face interactions were related with higher valence and arousal in everyday life. People high in Neuroticism were less likely to experience pleasure through non-face-to-face interactions than people who were less neurotic. People high in Openness to Experiences were more likely to experience activation through browsing social media. These findings suggest the potential moderation effect of personality on the relationship between social interactions and daily emotion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Room 3301 (Lift 17-18), 3/F, Academic Building, HKUST
Speakers / Performers:
Ms Alice Xi CHEN