Security or Safety: Quantitative and Comparative Analysis of Usage in Research Works Published in 2004-2019

Behav Sci (Basel). 2019 Dec 9;9(12):146. doi: 10.3390/bs9120146.


This article is devoted to the statistical analysis of security and safety frequency in the context of categories connected with social institutions and personality features in research works from 2004-2019. Research was based on the following methods: quantitative analysis of safety frequency in the context with coded "categories" related to social institutions and personality features; analysis was conducted with computer-assisted content analysis QDA Miner Lite v. 1.4 and Fisher's F-test. An analysis of 1157 works showed that the terms "security" and "safety" were quantitatively more frequent when used with concepts related to social institutions than with concepts related to personality features. In our opinion, this qualitative trend shows the prevailing significance of social aspects of security over its personal (psychological) traits for research analysis and practical social aspects. The priority usage of the terms "security" and "safety" can be related to the securitization of society, (i.e., to the increased role and significance of social ways of providing security and protection from threats), primarily with the help of external law-enforcing actors such as the state, police, and army. Securitization counterweights the development of social and psychological mechanisms of security-developing motivation for safe behavior, personal self-regulation, and self-production of security as an internal feeling of protection.

Keywords: human well-being; psychological safety; psychological security; psychology; safety; security.