University of Twente Student Theses


Turning Chaos into Meaning : A Chat GPT-Assisted Exploration of COVID-19 Narratives

Koch, Maximilian Alexander (2023) Turning Chaos into Meaning : A Chat GPT-Assisted Exploration of COVID-19 Narratives.

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Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread chaos and uncertainty in societies and among individuals. This led them to employ sensemaking, a process to cope with alike adversities, by creating narratives, that connect them to a greater whole. Those pandemic narratives evolve around the virus and the compliance with government measures. The study at hand explores a wider range of individual and collective narratives, to understand crisis-related sensemaking and inform appropriate health strategies. For this it first extracts the narratives from a dataset of 114 interviews with 38 German citizens, collected over three timepoints. For the extraction automatic summarization and compliance scoring based on the Health Belief Model are used. Consecutively the extracted narratives are analyzed with storyline analysis. Both phases employ Chat GPT as a research assistant. Further, the corresponding results are evaluated to inform about AI use in (narrative) psychological research. The analysis uncovered two distinct narratives: The dominant narrative of compliers, relying on authorities and perceiving the endorsement of measures as a collective duty that can end the pandemic. And the counter- narrative of non-compliers, doubting the trustworthiness of institutions and media, viewing the regulations as a greater threat than the virus. Although very different in most respects, both narratives match in refusing mandatory vaccination and the endorsement of open and clear government communication. Overall, the findings suggest a support of with personalized public health strategies, that promote individual choice. The study further delivers a successful methodological case-study of human-AI collaboration in research, by merging the efficiency and accuracy of Chat GPT with human flexibility and context- awareness. Thereby it demonstrates the feasibility of AI as a research assistant and progresses its implementation into psychological operations. Keywords: COVID-19, Sensemaking, Compliance, Narrative Analysis, Storyline Analysis, Automatic Summarization, Chat GPT, AI, Text Mining, Health Belief Model
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:54 computer science, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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