Does a Major Earthquake Change Job Preferences and Human Values?

Shigehiro Oishi, Ayano Yagi, Asuka Komiya, Florian Kohlbacher, Takashi Kusumi, Keiko Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Does a major natural disaster change human values and job preferences? The present studies examined whether the experience of a natural disaster experience shifts people's values and job preferences toward pro-social directions. In Study 1 (cross-temporal analysis), we analysed job application data in nine cities in Japan over 12 years and found that the popularity of pro-social occupations (e.g. firefighter) increased after the Great Hanshin–Awaji Earthquake in 1995, in particular the area hit hardest by the quake. In Study 2 (a large national survey), we found that Japanese respondents who had experienced a major earthquake are more likely to hold a pro-social job than those who never experienced a major earthquake. Together, the current findings suggest that the experience of a major natural disaster shifts human values from the egocentric to the allocentric direction, which in turn could result in a social structure that values pro-social occupations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • human values
  • natural disaster
  • occupational preference
  • social ecology
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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