Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi
It was reported with praise by the worldwide media that victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami disaster endured the aftermath in a civil manner. We analyzed official crime statistics and investigated data that were collected from residents in disaster-stricken areas. Official statistics showed that crime decreased during the disaster period. Collected data suggest that criminal and deviant behavior were extremely rare, and that the victims helped each other, apparently altruistically. Further research on actual behavior in post-disaster environments is necessary in order to sufficiently prepare for future disasters.
Keywords: emergent norm, crime, panic, looting, post-disaster utopia, tsunami