ABSTRACT

Major societal events such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks influence our thoughts and feelings. In the face of a major environmental event, many people tend to react with emotion and emotion-laden decisions (Lerner et al, 2003).The 2004 East Asian tsunami disaster had a profound psychological impact on many countries, not only those that were directly hit by the tsunami waves. Sweden (population 9 million) had an unusually high number of tourists visiting the area at the time of the disaster, resulting in over 600 Swedes being killed or missing. The tsunami disaster was therefore considered a major national tragedy in Sweden (Grandien et al, 2005). A consequence of this tragedy, and the media attention it received (Mann, 2007), was that many Swedes felt deeply involved and saddened (Grandien et al, 2005).