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Don’t get it or don’t spread it? Comparing self-interested versus prosocially framed COVID-19 prevention messaging

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens millions of lives, and an effective response will require individuals to take costly and difficult measures to slow the rate of transmission. Yet it is unclear how to best motivate preventative actions, which can be conceptualized as either self-interested or cooperative efforts. Should public health messaging focus on the benefits of prevention to individuals, society, or both? We shed light on this question across two pre-registered studies conducted online via Amazon Mechanical Turk (total n = 2176 Americans) during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching the United States. We investigated the effects of three treatments, consisting of a written appeal and a flier, on intentions to engage in coronavirus prevention behaviors. We presented identical information across treatments, but varied our framing to emphasize the personal, public, or both personal and public benefits of prevention behaviors. While all three treatments increased prevention intentions relative to a no-information control, we found important differences across treatments. In particular, we found strong evidence for the power of prosocial framing: the Public treatment was more effective than the Personal treatment, and the Personal+Public treatment was no more effective than the pure Public treatment. Our results thus suggest that emphasizing the public benefits of prevention efforts may be an effective pandemic response strategy.

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... Indeed, research has shown that persuasive messages are effective in changing perceptions and behavioral intentions (e.g., Jones et al., 2003;Berry et al., 2007). Moreover, recent research on COVID-19 suggests that public education health messages that focus on both public and personal benefits ("don't get it, don't spread it") are more effective than addressing personal benefits alone ("don't get it") in increasing intentions to engage in personal and social preventive actions (Everett et al., 2020;Jordan et al., 2020). ...
... The findings demonstrate that people have both self-interested and altruistic motives for vaccinations, and that targeting both types of motivations increases intentions to vaccinate (Hendrix et al., 2014;Li et al., 2016, Betsch et al., 2017. Of particular relevance, recent research on COVID-19 suggests that disease prevention messages that focus on both public and personal benefits are more effective in increasing preventive behavioral intentions compared to addressing personal benefits alone (Everett et al., 2020;Jordan et al., 2020). As such, messages should target both personal and public benefits while also invoking positive emotions, like empathy, and reducing negative emotions, like anger, to increase preventive actions. ...
... To date, although several studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of educational interventions on willingness to engage in preventive action during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., Everett et al., 2020;Jordan et al., 2020;Pfattheicher et al., 2020;Heffner et al., 2021), our understanding of the role of emotionally driven persuasive messages on increasing preventive action and reducing risky behaviors remains limited. Moreover, countries around the globe are not only at different phases of dealing with the pandemic, but also differ in their overall strategies and political systems. ...
Article
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Introduction Across four countries (Canada, USA, UK, and Italy), we explored the effects of persuasive messages on intended and actual preventive actions related to COVID-19, and the role of emotions as a potential mechanism for explaining these effects. Methods One thousand seventy-eight participants first reported their level of concern and emotions about COVID-19 and then received a positive persuasive text, negative persuasive text, or no text. After reading, participants reported their emotions about the pandemic and their willingness to take preventive action. One week following, the same participants reported the frequency with which they engaged in preventive action and behaviors that increased the risk of contracting COVID-19. Results Results revealed that the positive persuasive text significantly increased individuals’ willingness to and actual engagement in preventive action and reduced risky behaviors 1 week following the intervention compared to the control condition. Moreover, significant differences were found between the positive persuasive text condition and negative persuasive text condition whereby individuals who read the positive text were more willing and actually engaged in more preventive action compared to those who read the negative text. No differences were found, however, at the 1-week follow-up for social distancing and isolation behaviors. Results also revealed that specific discrete emotions mediated relations between the effects of the texts and preventive action (both willing and actual). Discussion This research highlights the power of educational interventions to prompt behavioral change and has implications for pandemic-related interventions, government policy on health promotion messages, and future research.
... In line with the two perspectives on social distancing, two distinct scenarios are conceivable and reflected in our two opposing main hypotheses. First, assuming social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic to be a prosocial behavior and a matter of justice is in line with recent research on people's compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures (e.g., Jordan et al., 2020;Pfattheicher et al., 2020;Twardawski et al., 2021). According to the justice motive, several forms of prosocial behavior have already been positively linked to believing in a just world for oneself (e.g., Bègue, 2014;Bègue & Bastounis, 2003;Bègue et al., 2008); thus, to people's personal BJW. ...
... We expected a positive relationship between personal BJW and social distancing when protecting others and acting fairly is the primary concern (Hypothesis 1), and a negative relationship when the primary concern is one's own risk (Hypothesis 3). Our finding of a positive relationship between personal BJW and increased social distancing is in line firstly with past research linking personal BJW to justice striving (e.g., Dalbert, 2009;Lerner, 1977) and to prosocial intentions and behaviors (e.g., Bègue, 2014), and secondly with recent research linking such prosocial intentions to prevention behaviors in the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., Capraro & Barcelo, 2020;Jordan et al., 2020;Pfattheicher et al., 2020). Hence, our results suggest that the first phenomenon-social distancing as a justice-related prosocial behavior-was more salient. ...
... Again, this indicates thatapart from the other-protective component-there might be an (additional) motive of personal protection behind social distancing. This is in line with some researchers highlighting a positive link between prevention intentions and perception of personal and of public threat (Jordan et al., 2020), but not with others (van Rooij et al., 2020). Note that infection probability did not correlate with social distancing which could be explained by opposing processes: On one hand, people with low probability perceptions could engage less in social distancing, while on the other hand low probability perceptions could be caused by engaging in more social distancing. ...
Article
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This study investigated whether people’s personal belief in a just world (BJW) is linked to their willingness to physically distance themselves from others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research found personal BJW to be positively related to prosocial behavior, justice striving, and lower risk perceptions. If social distancing reflects a concern for others, high personal BJW should predict increased interest in social distancing. If social distancing reflects a concern for one’s personal risk, high personal BJW should predict decreased interest in social distancing. Results of a pre-registered internet-based study from Germany ( N = 361) indicated that the higher people’s personal BJW, the more they generally practiced social distancing. This association still occurred when controlling for empathy, another significant predictor of social distancing. There were no mediation effects of empathy and risk perception. The findings extend knowledge on the correlates of social distancing in the COVID-19 pandemic which could be used to increase compliance among citizens.
... As communities continue to open up while COVID-19 remains a threat, particularly to unvaccinated individuals, it is urgent to understand how to persuade both Republicans and Democrats to engage in recommended health behaviors. While there are studies that have examined the effectiveness of different types of messaging about COVID-19 health behaviors (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020;Jordan, Yoeli, & Rand, 2020), there is a dearth of research that takes political affiliation into account. Here, we present an intervention tournament that includes seven different intervention conditions relative to a control to test which framings most effectively promote mask wearing among representative samples of Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. (N = 4, 931). ...
... wide benefits of face coverings (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020), promote reasoning over emotional responses (Capraro & Barcelo, 2021), discuss COVID-19 as a public (vs. personal) threat (Jordan et al., 2020;c.f., Miyajima & Murakami, 2021), evoke empathy through storytelling about how the virus affected the elderly (Pfattheicher, Nockur, Böhm, Sassenrath, & Petersen, 2020), or use written reflection exercises (Hume, John, Sanders, & Stockdale, 2020) show some efficacy in promoting COVID-19 health behaviors. Future research using meta-analysis will be useful in discerning which interventions had the most powerful impact during COVID-19 and whether they were effective for both Republicans and Democrats. ...
Article
Full-text available
Many people practiced COVID-19-related safety measures in the first year of the pandemic, but Republicans were less likely to engage in behaviors such as wearing masks or face coverings than Democrats, suggesting radical disparities in health practices split along political fault lines. We developed an "intervention tournament" which aimed to identify the framings that would promote mask-wearing among a representative sample of Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. from Oct 14, 2020, to Jan 14, 2021 (N = 4931). Seven different conditions reflecting different moral values and factors specific to COVID-19-including protection from harm (self), protection from harm (community), patriotic duty, purity, reviving the economy, threat, and scientific evidence-were implemented to identify which framings would "win" in terms of promoting mask wearing compared to a baseline condition. We found that Republicans had significantly more negative attitudes toward masks, lower intentions to wear them, and were less likely to sign or share pledges on social media than Democrats, which was partially mediated by Republicans, compared to Democrats, perceiving that the threat of COVID-19 was lower. None of our framing conditions significantly affected Republicans' or Democrats' attitudes, intentions, or behaviors compared to the baseline condition, illustrating the difficulty in overcoming the strength of political polarization during COVID-19. Early in 2020, the novel coronavirus quickly spread around the world, and within months, over 28 million cases and 910,000 COVID-19-related deaths had been recorded worldwide (Worldometers.info, 2020). In the first year of the pandemic, governments implemented a wide variety of community interventions to slow the spread of the virus, including school and workplace closures, stay-at-home orders, and public information campaigns to encourage greater observation of public safety behaviors like wearing face coverings, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings of people. Many countries enacted a similar set of interventions, however, responses to these measures have been particularly divisive with a large partisan gap in the U.S. The political divisions have seeped into public attitudes on COVID-19 interventions, with partisan divides shaping disparate compliance and enforcement of these safety practices.
... Sociodemographic covariates were self-reported and included age (18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)(29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34)(35)(36)(37)(38)(39)(40)(41)(42)(43)(44)(45)(46)(47)(48)(49), 50-65, and 65+), gender (female, male, and other), race/ethnicity (Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, Asian, non-Hispanic White, and other), highest level of education (less than college, college graduate, or higher), residence (city/suburb and rural/small town), and political viewpoint (liberal, moderate, and conservative). ...
... 28,29 In another study, prosocial framing (e.g., "don't spread it") was more effective in promoting preventive behaviors than self-interested messages (e.g., "don't get it"). 30 Establishing these evidence-based protective behaviors as the default and normative, accompanied by facilitating access to these behaviors (e.g., vaccination services and environments that facilitate social distancing) may collectively encourage engagement in such behaviors. ...
Article
Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic provides a novel context through which to evaluate salient factors for promoting behavioral change. We examined how attitudes, perceived community behaviors, and prior related behaviors predict intentions to (1) receive COVID-19 vaccination and (2) practice social distancing. Design: Cross-sectional online survey administered through Amazon's Mechanical Turk in September 2020. Subjects: A convenience sample of US adults (N = 1804). Measures: COVID-19 vaccination and social distancing intentions were measured on a 7-point Likert scale. Predictor variables included general vaccination and social distancing attitudes, perceived community mask-wearing, prior influenza vaccination, prior social distancing, and socio-demographics. Analysis: Descriptive statistics and linear regressions. Results: Thirty percent of respondents reported a strong willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination, while 67% strongly intended to engage in social distancing. In regression analyses, vaccination intention was predicted by positive vaccine attitudes (b = .84; 95%CI: .78, .90; P < .001), prior influenza vaccination (b = -.47; 95%CI: -.63, -.32; P < .001), and perceived community mask-wearing (b = -.28; 95%CI: -.56, -.01; P=.049). Intention to practice social distancing was predicted by positive attitudes (b = .65; 95%CI: .61, .69; P < .001), prior social distancing (b = -.49; 95%CI: -.59, -.39; P < .001), and perceived community mask-wearing (b = -.28; 95%CI: -.46, -.09; P = .003). Conclusion: Findings have implications for health promotion efforts. Messages that are targeted and tailored on pre-existing attitudes may be more effective. Additionally, leveraging prior behaviors and perceived community behavior may improve communication strategies.
... As communities continue to open up while COVID-19 remains a threat, particularly to unvaccinated individuals, it is urgent to understand how to persuade both Republicans and Democrats to engage in recommended health behaviors. While there are studies that have examined the effectiveness of different types of messaging about COVID-19 health behaviors (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020;Jordan, Yoeli, & Rand, 2020), there is a dearth of research that takes political affiliation into account. Here, we present an intervention tournament that includes seven different intervention conditions relative to a control to test which framings most effectively promote mask wearing among representative samples of Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. (N = 4, 931). ...
... wide benefits of face coverings (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020), promote reasoning over emotional responses (Capraro & Barcelo, 2021), discuss COVID-19 as a public (vs. personal) threat (Jordan et al., 2020;c.f., Miyajima & Murakami, 2021), evoke empathy through storytelling about how the virus affected the elderly (Pfattheicher, Nockur, Böhm, Sassenrath, & Petersen, 2020), or use written reflection exercises (Hume, John, Sanders, & Stockdale, 2020) show some efficacy in promoting COVID-19 health behaviors. Future research using meta-analysis will be useful in discerning which interventions had the most powerful impact during COVID-19 and whether they were effective for both Republicans and Democrats. ...
Article
Many people practiced COVID-19-related safety measures in the first year of the pandemic, but Republicans were less likely to engage in behaviors such as wearing masks or face coverings than Democrats, suggesting radical disparities in health practices split along political fault lines. We developed an “intervention tournament” which aimed to identify the framings that would promote mask wearing among a representative sample of Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. from Oct 14, 2020, to Jan 14, 2021 (N = 4931). Seven different conditions reflecting different moral values and factors specific to COVID-19—including protection from harm (self), protection from harm (community), patriotic duty, purity, reviving the economy, threat, and scientific evidence—were implemented to identify which framings would “win” in terms of promoting mask wearing compared to a baseline condition. We found that Republicans had significantly more negative attitudes toward masks, lower intentions to wear them, and were less likely to sign or share pledges on social media than Democrats, which was partially mediated by Republicans, compared to Democrats, perceiving that the threat of COVID-19 was lower. None of our framing conditions significantly affected Republicans' or Democrats' attitudes, intentions, or behaviors compared to the baseline condition, illustrating the difficulty in overcoming the strength of political polarization during COVID-19.
... The analyzes were also not conducted on a behavioral basis. Such research was undertaken and referred mainly to the emotional state of respondents in the context of a possibility of contracting COVID-19 (Andrew, 2020;Behavioral, 2020;Behave, 2020;Baggio, 2020;Devlin, 2020;Jordan, Yoeli, Rand, 2020;Salwa, 2020). ...
... The respondents' opinions confirmed the positive pro-social reception of the message. Similar results were obtained by Jordan et al. (2020) in an online study conducted in the United States. They found that messages focused on avoiding infecting others ("wash your hands to avoid the spread of coronavirus" or pro-social message) are more effective in promoting individual COVID-19 prevention strategies than messages focusing on avoiding infection (self-interest messages): "Wash your hands to avoid contracting coronavirus". ...
Article
This paper aims to identify selected behavioral effects in people caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The research problem was formulated as a question: has people’s behavior changed after the announcement of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic in Poland? An analysis of the literature, the results of the authors’ own research, and participant observation confirmed the consistency of the results with the literature on behavioral economics. The results may be of cognitive importance in terms of backward induction, taking into account the behavior of the respondents. A selected description of actual behavior during the coronavirus situation is a novelty of the paper. The reader may become aware of differences in their own behavior and that of their family, colleagues, or others. They may also realize that we often react subconsciously and are guided by the suggestions of others.
... Specifically, recent research has shown that prosocial messaging with a focus on community, compared to focusing on the self, has had mixed effects on COVID-19 prevention behavior with U.S. samples (for review, see [23]). Some studies have found that messaging that focused on the community increased intentions to wear a mask [24] as well as increased prevention intentions (e.g., handwashing; [25]). However, findings have not been consistent across health behaviors, as message framing that focused on community did not have similar effects for social distancing and understanding COVID-19 through official communication [23]. ...
... Finally, recent research into COVID-19 has highlighted gender differences in public health compliance. In general, men tend to engage in fewer preventive behaviors to protect health [25] and more health risk behaviors [43] as compared to women, which may contribute to decreased COVID-19 public health compliance in men. In early June 2020, when mask wearing was recommended by public health officials but prior to widespread mask mandates, women had increased odds (1.5x) of voluntarily wearing masks to a store as compared to men [2]. ...
Article
Full-text available
There has been resistance to COVID-19 public health restrictions partly due to changes and reductions in work, resulting in financial stress. Psychological reactance theory posits that such restrictions to personal freedoms result in anger, defiance, and motivation to restore freedom. In an online study (N = 301), we manipulated the target of COVID-19 restrictions as impacting self or community. We hypothesized that (a) greater pandemic-related financial stress would predict greater reactance, (b) the self-focused restriction condition would elicit greater reactance than the community-focused restriction condition, (c) reactance would be greatest for financially-stressed individuals in the self-focused condition, and (d) greater reactance would predict lower adherence to social distancing guidelines. Independent of political orientation and sense of community, greater financial stress predicted greater reactance only in the self-focused condition; the community-focused condition attenuated this association. Additionally, greater reactance was associated with lower social distancing behavior. These findings suggest that economic hardship exacerbates negative responses to continued personal freedom loss. Community-focused COVID-19 health messaging may be better received during continued pandemic conditions.
... To increase their motivation, understanding the psychological processes underlying their low motivation would be helpful, although previous studies mainly focused on direct reasons for refusing vaccination 11 . Several studies reported that personality traits are linked with the acceptance/hesitancy of the vaccination [12][13][14][15][16] . Thus, the identification of psychological factors would contribute to more effective prevention measures; for example, the design of an effective message that appeals to young individuals who are less motivated towards the vaccination. ...
... With reference to previous reports, a message emphasizing altruism was used as the control nudge (nudge 1, see Appendix 1 online). In addition, based on several reports indicating that scientific evidence, such as information about vaccine efficacy and side effects, influences the motivation for COVID-19 vaccination 13,47 , we included scientific information in the messages. The framing effect concerning a loss or gain representation of the same issue is known to affect the nudge 36,[48][49][50] . ...
Article
Full-text available
The most promising way to prevent the explosive spread of COVID-19 infection is to achieve herd immunity through vaccination. It is therefore important to motivate those who are less willing to be vaccinated. To address this issue, we conducted an online survey of 6232 Japanese people to investigate age- and gender-dependent differences in attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination and the underlying psychological processes. We asked participants to read one of nine different messages about COVID-19 vaccination and rate their willingness to be vaccinated. We also collected their 17 social personality trait scores and demographic information. We found that males 10–20 years old were least willing to be vaccinated. We also found that prosocial traits are the driving force for young people, but the motivation in older people also depends on risk aversion and self-interest. Furthermore, an analysis of 9 different messages demonstrated that for young people (particularly males), the message emphasizing the majority’s intention to vaccinate and scientific evidence for the safety of the vaccination had the strongest positive effect on the willingness to be vaccinated, suggesting that the “majority + scientific evidence” message nudges young people to show their prosocial nature in action.
... Un estudio empírico reciente encontró que la empatía parece motivar la conducta de distanciamiento (Pfattheicher et al., 2020). Otro estudio encontró diferencias en los reportes de acciones preventivas cuando el investigador se refería a estas como conductas que "evitan la propagación" en comparación con "evitar contraer el COVID-19" (Jordan et al., 2020). Otras investigaciones recientes ilustran que los mensajes prosociales de salud pública son especialmente eficaces si subrayan comportamientos vinculados a beneficios sociales y comunitarios (por ejemplo, ayudar a proteger a sus conciudadanos), en lugar de centrarse en comportamientos que solo benefician a uno mismo (por ejemplo, protegerse a sí mismo) (Heffner et al., 2021;Kelly & Hornik, 2016;Li et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Cumplir con las medidas de prevención de la salud es fundamental para controlar brotes de enfermedades infecciosas como aquellos causados por la COVID-19. Se han realizados numerosas investigaciones para comprender algunas variables psicosociales (desde personalidad hasta diferencias culturales) asociadas con las conductas de precaución en contextos de pandemia. Sin embargo, se sabe poco sobre el papel que el capital y la responsabilidad social pueden jugar en estos comportamientos de precaución en el contexto de la pandemia del COVID-19. El presente trabajo aborda variables psicológicas asociadas con el capital social y conductas socialmente responsables (e.g. amabilidad, empatía, apoyo social, justicia, impulsividad, conducta cívica), que ayudan a un grupo a desarrollar actividades socialmente valiosas propiciando el cumplimiento de las medidas de prevención. El presente estudio evaluó el efecto del capital social y variables asociadas (e.g., personalidad, apoyo social) en comportamientos precautorios relacionados con el COVID-19. Se utilizaron regresiones jerárquicas y modelos mediacionales en 3 diferentes muestras mexicanas (muestra 1: n=709, muestra 2: n=718, muestra 3: n= 309). Los resultados muestran que las variables asociadas con la responsabilidad social evaluadas aquí, con excepción de la legitimidad y la justicia distributiva, se relacionan con un mayor reporte de conductas de precaución. Estos resultados sugieren un enfoque encaminado a aumentar el capital y la responsabilidad social para reducir el efecto de enfermedades infecciosas como el COVID-19.
... Other efforts were directed to explore threat and prosocial appeals related to COVID-19 in the USA (Heffner et al., 2020). Furthermore, in the USA, researchers examined the persuasiveness of personal and public message framing in promoting COVID-19 prevention intentions (Jordan et al., 2020). Nevertheless, most of these studies were conducted in American and European societies, and similar research remained to be carried out in other cultural contexts (Puthillam, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to examine the influence of different message framings (utilitarian, deontological, religious, virtue-based message, and God's punishment-based messages) on Saudi Arabians’ beliefs and behavioral intentions related to COVID-19 and the influence of message source (religious advocate, Saudi COVID-19 monitoring committee member, close person, physician, journalist, and social media influencer) on communicating messages in the COVID-19 pandemic context. The between-subject design experiment (n =222) was conducted online due to the Covid-19 restrictions in force at the time of this study and in an attempt to derive a representative sample from the general Saudi population. The results showed that the God’s punishment-based message was less effective than other moral and religious messages, including the non-framed messages, and member of the Saudi COVID-19 monitoring committee, followed by physicians, were believed to be the most effective message sources. Overall, the current research contributes to the knowledge about health and crisis communications in the collectivistic cultural context.
... Individual framed messages portrays a health crisis or behavior in individual terms while a collective message frames an issue in terms of benefits to the community to maximize the benefits of a behavior (e.g. Jordan et al., 2020). That is, this study contributes to the existing misinformation correction literature by investigating the explanatory power of the two well-established media effects theories on misinformation correction messaging and by identifying essential individual characteristics that we should consider when evaluating how misperceptions about the COVID-19 crisis works and gets reduced. ...
Article
Purpose One of the most prolific areas of misinformation research is examining corrective strategies in messaging. The main purposes of the current study are to examine the effects of (1) partisan media (2) credibility perceptions and emotional reactions and (3) theory driven corrective messages on people's misperceptions about COVID-19 mask wearing behaviors. Design/methodology/approach The authors used a randomized experimental design to test the hypotheses. The data were collected via the survey firm Lucid. The number of participants was 485. The study was conducted using Qualtrics after the research project was exempt by the Institutional Research Board of a large University in the US. The authors conducted an online experiment with four conditions, narrative versus statistics and individual versus collective. The manipulation messages were constructed as screenshots from Facebook. Findings The findings of this study show that higher exposure to liberal media was associated with lower misperceptions, whereas higher credibility perceptions of and positive reactions toward the misinformation post and negative emotions toward the correction comment were associated with higher misperceptions. Moreover, the findings showed that participants in the narrative and collective-frame condition had the lowest misperceptions. Originality/value The authors tested theory driven misinformation corrective messages to understand the impact of these messages and multiple related variables on misperceptions about COVID-19 mask wearing. This study contributes to the existing misinformation correction literature by investigating the explanatory power of the two well-established media effects theories on misinformation correction messaging and by identifying essential individual characteristics that should be considered when evaluating how misperceptions about the COVID-19 crisis works and gets reduced. Peer review The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-11-2021-0600
... A study evaluating barriers and facilitators of adherence to physical distancing, found that wanting to protect oneself, others and the community were the strongest motivators associated with compliance. 25 These facilitators have also been reported in several other studies, [26][27][28] suggesting that PHM messaging should encourage individuals to do their part for the health and safety of their family and friends as well as the broader community and place less emphasis on the individual. Although participants believed PHM are effective, they expressed frustration towards the lack of consistency, unity and clarity in PHM messaging. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To understand Canadian’s attitudes and current behaviours towards COVID-19 public health measures (PHM), vaccination and current public health messaging, to provide recommendations for a public health intervention. Design Ten focus groups were conducted with 2–7 participants/group in December 2020. Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analysed using content and inductive thematic analysis. The capability opportunity motivation behaviour Model was used as our conceptual framework. Setting Focus groups were conducted virtually across Canada. Participants Participants were recruited from a pool of individuals who previously completed a Canada-wide survey conducted by our research team. Main outcome measure Key barriers and facilitators towards COVID-19 PHM and vaccination, and recommendations for public health messaging. Results Several themes were identified (1) participants’ desire to protect family and friends was the main facilitator for adhering to PHM, while the main barrier was inconsistent PHM messaging and (2) participants were optimistic that the vaccine offers a return to normal, however, worries of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness were the main concerns. Participants felt that current public health messaging is inconsistent, lacks transparency and suggested that messaging should include scientific data presented by a trustworthy source. Conclusions We suggest six public health messaging recommendations to increase adherence to PHM and vaccination (1) use an unbiased scientist as a spokesperson, ( 2 ) openly address any unknowns, (3) more is better when sharing data, (4) use personalised stories to reinforce PHM and vaccinations, (5) humanise the message by calling out contradictions and (6) focus on the data and keep politics out.
... As this is an exceptionally relevant topic, many studies in various scientific disciplines are investigating the pandemic. Some address the question of the acceptance of the vaccine or of restrictive measures (Dohle et al., 2020;Poland et al., 2021), whilst others seek access via behavioral psychological aspects (Bavel et al., 2020;Jordan et al., 2020). Others analyze possible communication measures and the effect of framing (Gantiva et al., 2021;Palm et al., 2021). ...
Thesis
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The COVID-19 pandemic caused numerous challenges for the economy, society as well as government, one of which being the acceptance of vaccination prioritization. The purpose of the study is to determine which characteristics and personal perceptions, as well as framing of the message, may influence the acceptance of fair vaccination prioritization. The results of the study provide partial evidence that altruism increases acceptance. This research does not support an enhancement of framing effect on acceptance if vaccine is of high personal relevance. The findings suggest that loss framing can significantly increase acceptance, making it an appropriate method of communication in the COVID-19 pandemic.
... found to elicit positive emotions (Bavel et al., 2020) and increased vaccine acceptance. For example, a study conducted by Jordan et al., (2020) found that messaging that promoted prosocial motivations was more successful at predicting intentions to engage in preventative behaviours than messaging that promoted personal motivations. Another recent study highlighted prosocial appeals increased willingness to practice preventative behaviours (Heffner et al., 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background The successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic depends largely on the acceptance and uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine among the public. Thus, formative research aiming to understand and determine the causes of weak and/or positive vaccination intentions is vital in order to ensure the success of future and current vaccination programmes through the provision of effective, evidence-based health messaging. Methods A cross-sectional survey was completed by a sample of Irish (N = 500) and UK (N = 579) citizens using the online platform ‘Qualtrics’. Participants completed a questionnaire battery comprised of health, attitudes/beliefs, influences, and behavioural intention measures. Demographic information was also assessed. Results Results highlighted similar rates of vaccine intention among both samples; where a total of 76.8% Irish respondents, and 73.7% of UK respondents indicated that they intended to be immunized if the government advised them to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, 23.2% of Irish respondents reported being vaccine hesitant or vaccine resistant, while a rate of 26.3% of UK respondents reported vaccine hesitancy or resistance. Univariate analysis highlighted that both gender and age played a significant role in vaccine intention, with women under age 30 reporting higher rate of vaccine hesitancy. Multivariate analysis revealed that significant correlates of vaccine acceptance included peer influence, GP influence, civic responsibility, perceived benefit, and positive vaccination attitudes. Those who reported vaccine resistance and hesitancy were more likely to have less positive vaccination attitudes and perceive higher vaccination risk. Discussion The current sociodemographic and psychological profiles of vaccine resistant and hesitant individuals provide a useful resource for informing health practitioners in the UK and Ireland with the means of enhancing pro-vaccine attitudes and promoting vaccination uptake. The current research shows indications of associations between distrust in the vaccine itself and vaccine hesitancy and resistance. Thus, to effectively design and deliver public health messages that ensures the success of vaccination uptake, it is likely that governments and public health officials will need to take actions to garner trust in the safety of the vaccine itself. Additionally, campaigns to decrease hesitancy and resistance in the COVID-19 vaccine may benefit in targeting altruism to increase willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
... Preliminary evidence demonstrates that prosocial emotions can be used as one path to instigate behavior change with studies showing that prosocial behavior is positively related to adhering to policy-relevant health behaviors including physical distancing, staying at home when sick, and adhering to hygiene recommendations (Pfattheicher et al., 2020;Campos-Mercade et al., 2021). Consistent with the idea of collective cooperation, a study on preventive actions demonstrates that people exhibit greater intend to engage in preventive efforts, such as distancing, when public health messages are framed as a way to help or protect others rather than appeals focused on the individual benefit of such behavior (Jordan et al., 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic fundamentally disrupted humans’ social life and behavior. Public health measures may have inadvertently impacted how people care for each other. This study investigated prosocial behavior, its association well-being, and predictors of prosocial behavior during the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and sought to understand whether region-specific differences exist. Participants ( N = 9,496) from eight regions clustering multiple countries around the world responded to a cross-sectional online-survey investigating the psychological consequences of the first upsurge of lockdowns in spring 2020. Prosocial behavior was reported to occur frequently. Multiple regression analyses showed that prosocial behavior was associated with better well-being consistently across regions. With regard to predictors of prosocial behavior, high levels of perceived social support were most strongly associated with prosocial behavior, followed by high levels of perceived stress, positive affect and psychological flexibility. Sociodemographic and psychosocial predictors of prosocial behavior were similar across regions.
... Knowingly or unknowingly, media frames have helped the public construct their perception of reality regarding COVID-19 (Ogbodo et al., 2020). Moreover, messages that accentuate the public or personal health benefits of behaviors that stop the spread of the coronavirus have been shown to increase individuals' intentions to engage in such behaviors (Jordan, Yoeli, & Rand, 2020). Conversely, exposure to conspiratorial claims have been shown to result in behaviors that are less likely to reduce the spread, including individuals being less likely to become vaccinated, wash their hands, engage in social distancing, and wear masks in public (Bolsen et al., 2020). ...
Article
In an effort to stave off racial and geographic prejudices, The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised against naming pathogens for geographic regions. Despite this, some media reports, and prominent politicians, have persisted in calling the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus,” or some variant thereof. In this pre-registered online experiment (N = 614), we examined the effect media frames and individual factors (i.e., political affiliation and party) had on perceptions of COVID-19, prejudice against Chinese- and Asian-Americans, and attributing blame to China for the coronavirus. We found that articles that labeled the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus” (versus the “COVID-19 Virus”) were perceived less favorably by Democrats and liberals, in comparison to Republicans and conservatives, who were also more likely to express greater racial prejudice against Chinese- and Asian-Americans and to blame China for the pandemic. Findings from this study suggest that amongst a host of other variables, media framing has an effect on the public’s attitudes and feelings of blame for the pandemic.
... Reassuringly, the reappraisal interventions improved emotions without significantly reducing intentions to practice preventive health behaviours. This is consistent with recent findings that there are many paths to motivate preventive health behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic without inducing negative emotions [95][96][97][98] . ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about a situation. Participants from 87 countries and regions (n = 21,644) were randomly assigned to one of two brief reappraisal interventions (reconstrual or repurposing) or one of two control conditions (active or passive). Results revealed that both reappraisal interventions (vesus both control conditions) consistently reduced negative emotions and increased positive emotions across different measures. Reconstrual and repurposing interventions had similar effects. Importantly, planned exploratory analyses indicated that reappraisal interventions did not reduce intentions to practice preventive health behaviours. The findings demonstrate the viability of creating scalable, low-cost interventions for use around the world.
... Greater concern for the safety of others and a greater sense of responsibility to keep others free from disease predict increased adherence to recommended safety behaviors such as social distancing and mask wearing (Christner et al., 2020;Oosterhoff & Palmer, 2020;Pfattheicher et al., 2020). Some people even report following COVID-19 safety measures more for others than for themselves (Schiffer et al., 2021), and messaging about how preventive behaviors can protect others from the coronavirus can be more persuasive than messages about how the same behaviors can protect oneself ( Jordan et al., 2020;Luttrell & Petty, 2021). Mooney (2015Mooney ( , 2020 has also detailed how "freedom from" framing proved effective in previous pandemics throughout history because of its ability to enable public officials to justify imposing stronger restrictions. ...
Article
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During crises and disasters, such as hurricanes, terrorist threats, or pandemics, policymakers must often increase security at the cost of freedom. Psychological science, however, has shown that the restriction of freedom may have strong negative consequences for behavior and health. We suggest that psychology can inform policy both by elucidating some negative consequences of lost freedom (e.g., depression or behavioral reactance) and by revealing strategies to address them. We propose four interlocking principles that can help policymakers restore the freedom–security balance. Careful consideration of the psychology of freedom can help policymakers develop policies that most effectively promote public health, safety, and well-being when crises and disasters strike.
... Una herramienta utilizada en ciencias del comportamiento es el encuadre prosocial (Rudd et al., 2014) que implica enmarcar metas en un contexto prosocial, como hacer felices a los demás o salvar el medio ambiente. Un grupo de investigadores midió la influencia de tres tipos de mensajería en las intenciones de prevención del coronavirus entre los estadounidenses de Amazon Mechanical Turk (Jordan et al., 2020). Todos los tipos presentaron información de COVID-19 idéntica, pero enfatizaron en los beneficios personales, públicos o tanto personales como públicos de las conductas de prevención. ...
Article
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Existe un creciente interés en aplicar los hallazgos de las ciencias del comportamiento a los desafíos de formulación de políticas públicas debido a su bajo costo y alto impacto en el corto plazo. Experiencias previas han mostrado los beneficios de utilizar las ciencias del comportamiento en políticas de salud tales como lograr adherencia a tratamientos crónicos. En el contexto de la pandemia del COVID-19, se ha reforzado la importancia de estas medidas para contener la expansión de la enfermedad y promover la vacunación de la población. El objetivo de este trabajo es repasar la evidencia de las ciencias del comportamiento en el control de la pandemia. Asimismo, se realiza una breve discusión sobre cómo aplicarlo a futuro de forma sistemática en las políticas públicas, realizando un recorrido por experiencias realizadas en otros países, haciendo foco en la promoción del proceso vacunatorio.
... Key strategies to avoid negative messaging include monitoring these networks, explicitly addressing disinformation [45], and providing communities with accurate outreach information that can easily be shared on these platforms. Others have suggested that using a prosocial framing of the positive impacts of getting a COVID-19 vaccine for the broader community may have a stronger impact on vaccine acceptance than personal protection [45,46], although this was not the case in our data. ...
Article
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Given the dynamic nature of the ongoing pandemic, public knowledge and perceptions about COVID-19 are evolving. Limited transportation options, inconsistent healthcare resources, and lack of water and sanitation infrastructure in many remote Alaskan communities located off the road system have contributed to the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in these areas. We used longitudinal surveys to evaluate remote Alaskan residents’ early vaccine acceptance, vaccine uptake and motivations, risk perceptions regarding COVID-19 vaccines, and likelihood of getting a booster. Slightly over half of respondents showed early vaccine acceptance (November/December 2020), with the highest rate among those over the age of 65 years. However, by March 2021, 80.7% of participants reported receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or planning to get one. Of the unvaccinated, reasons for not getting a vaccine included concerns about side effects and not trusting the vaccine. By September 2021, 88.5% of people had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and 79.7% said they would get the booster (third dose) when it became available. There were misconceptions about vaccine recommendations for pregnant women and effects on fertility and DNA. Although initial vaccine concerns may have subsided, the booster rollout and forthcoming vaccines for youth under 12 years of age present new hurdles for vaccine communication efforts.
... Consistent with our results, studies have shown that orienting people to think in terms of a social group (vs. the self) promoted their preventive health behaviors. For example, in the context of COVID-19, Jordan et al. (2020) demonstrated that compared to self-interested messages ("avoid getting coronavirus"), prosocial messages ("avoid spreading coronavirus") were more effective in motivating prevention behaviors. Jordan and colleagues also found that perceiving coronavirus as a public threat was more strongly associated with prevention intentions than appraising it as a personal threat. ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic is a socially shared health issue that has had profound impacts on all aspects of community life and requires collaborative coping responses. Drawn from the extended theoretical model of communal coping, we examined (a) factors that promote community members' communal coping and (b) the influence of communal coping on perceived stress and positive adaptation in the context of COVID-19. An empirical test based on the survey of participants (N = 257) living in the state of New York showed that strong community identity, but not the length of residency in the same community and integrated connectedness to communication resources of the community, was positively associated with communal coping orientation. Having a higher communal coping orientation was not related to perceived stress, but it was positively related to engagement in COVID-19 preventive behaviors. The implications of these findings for understanding communal coping at the community level and future directions are discussed.
... Several studies may pertain to our considerations about loophole reasonings. Jordan et al. (2020) investigated self-interested versus prosocial framings, a distinction that may create openings for loophole reasoning. Bilancini et al. (2020) investigated different norm-based potential communications, which may be relevant to loophole reasoning because norms can be personal or injunctive (i.e. ...
Article
Little is known about how different government communication strategies may systematically affect people's attitudes to staying home or going out during the COVID-19 pandemic, nor how people perceive and process the risk of viral transmission in different scenarios. In this study, we report results from two experiments that examine the degree to which people's attitudes regarding the permissibility of leaving one's home are (1) sensitive to different levels of risk of viral transmission in specific scenarios, (2) sensitive to communication framings that are either imperative or that emphasize personal responsibility, or (3) creating 'loopholes' for themselves, enabling a more permissive approach to their own compliance. We find that the level of risk influences attitudes to going out, and that participants report less permissive attitudes to going out when prompted with messages framed in imperative terms, rather than messages emphasizing personal responsibility; for self-loopholes, we find no evidence that participants' attitudes towards going out in specific scenarios are more permissive for themselves than for others. However, participants report they are more rigorous in staying home than others, which may cause moral licensing. Additionally, we find that age is negatively associated with permissive attitudes, and that male participants are more permissive to going out. Thus, during phases where it is important to promote staying home for all scenarios, including those perceived to be low-risk, imperative communication may be best suited to increase compliance.
... The findings provide a plausible explanation for the behavior of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The experts investigating impacts of the pandemic suggest allocentric behavior as a key to promote voluntary self-isolation or social withdrawal, which in turn could result in the prevention of mutation spread and the eventual end of the pandemic (Bouayed et al., 2021;Jordan et al., 2020). However, the psychological mechanisms underlying the suggested process remains unexplored. ...
Article
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During the first outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many people expressed hatred toward others whom they believed were responsible for the situation. Such increase in negative affect could be resultant of the better-than-average effect (BTAE), which refers to the phenomenon of believing that one is superior to average others. This study investigated the relationship between the BTAE and emotional valence toward others and tested whether the relationship was moderated by allocentric goals (i.e., concerned with the interests of others rather than themselves) and culture. Participants from the U.S. (N = 210) and South Korea (N = 214) were asked about their perceptions on whether they were better than others at preventing the COVID-19 infection, how they felt about others regarding COVID-19, and for whom they were preventing COVID-19. The results indicated that people showing more BTAE in relation to preventing the COVID-19 infection reported more negative emotional valence toward others, but the relationship was moderated by allocentric goals. In particular, the U.S. participants with higher allocentric goals reported less negatively valenced emotions, while the same was not found in Korean participants. The findings suggest the power of allocentric goals in diminishing the BTAE in some cultures, which may possibly explain the negative emotions some people experience when following social distancing rules.
... Our finding that perceived health risks function as an important moderator of other factors facilitating preventive behaviour also raises implications for policymaking and may help to explain the varying results of previous research on health behaviour: the conditional effects of social norms may explain the inconsistent results regarding the benefits of health messages in facilitating preventive behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic [89][90][91][92][93]. While interventions aimed at raising individual risk perceptions may boost preventive behaviour in the short term, they may also lower the impact of other measures aimed at fostering preventive behaviour in the long term. ...
Article
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A strategy frequently adopted to contain the COVID-19 pandemic involves three non-pharmaceutical interventions that depend on high levels of compliance in society: maintaining physical distance from others, minimizing social contacts, and wearing a face mask. These measures require substantial changes in established practices of social interaction, raising the question of which factors motivate individuals to comply with these preventive behaviours. Using Austrian panel survey data from April 2020 to April 2021, we show that perceived health risks, social norms, and trust in political institutions stimulate people to engage in preventive behaviour. A moderation analysis shows that the effectiveness of social norms in facilitating preventive behaviour increases when people’s perceptions of health risks decrease. No such moderation effect is observed for trust in political institutions. These results suggest that strong social norms play a crucial role in achieving high rates of preventive behaviour, especially when perceived levels of health risks are low.
... Some studies suggest that stressing the pro-social benefits of vaccination might not be as decisive as focusing on aspects related to one's own emotions (Chou and Budenz, 2020;Gavaruzzi et al., 2021;Tomljenovic et al., 2020). In the COVID-19 context, prosocial messages seem to be effective in promoting protective behavior (e.g., Jordan et al., 2020), but this may be driven by the protection of closer circles rather than by the community at large (Banker and Park, 2020). It remains to be determined whether the pandemic has changed the way people understand community immunity and whether it can foster vaccine acceptance. ...
Article
Despite the actual availability of COVID-19 vaccines to combat the pandemic, many people are still vacillating in their decision to vaccinate. In this study, we considered the effect of two relevant contextual issues on vaccination intention: the number of people infected with COVID-19 is increasing, and the pace of vaccination is gaining speed. Specifically, we hypothesized that having already contracted SARS-CoV-2 (post- positive reluctance) could lead people to underestimate the importance of vaccination. Moreover, as the number of vaccinated people increases, more hesitant people could fall into the free-riding intention category, benefitting from the immunity provided by others' vaccinations. Vaccine hesitancy becomes more critical as the vaccination campaign proceeds: at one point, it will be inevitable to deal with hesitant people. This study is part of a WHO Regional Office for Europe project and involved a representative sample of 5,006 Italians interviewed in January–February 2021. In case of post-positive reluctance, both young age and female gender increase vaccine hesitancy, while a high level of education reduces free-riding intention. Considering post-positive reluctance and free riding, a protective effect on hesitancy is associated with negative affective states, adherence to protective behaviors, trust in health information sources, and resilience. In contrast, increased vaccine hesitancy is associated with a high level of conspiracy-mindedness and trust in media information sources. Recognizing and studying the post-positive reluctance and the phenomenon of free-riding people can help us to become more efficient in combatting the virus.
... To explain why people cooperated rather than competed in response to a crisis, factors included an emerging sense of shared identity and concern for others (Van Bavel et al., 2020). This speculation was supported with the evidence from Western participants that framing prevention behaviors as benefiting others was more effective than framing them as beneficial for oneself (Jordan et al., 2020). It was noteworthy that the HI orientation significantly predicted attitudes toward compliance. ...
Article
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This study examined the role of individual differences in horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism, trust and worries, and concerns about COVID-19 in predicting the attitudes toward compliance of health advice and psychological responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese university students ( N =384, 324 female) completed measures of individualism and collectivism, trust, attitudes toward compliance, and psychological responses to the pandemic. Results showed that not only vertical collectivist orientation but also horizontal individualist orientation significantly predicted higher willingness to comply, whereas vertical individualist orientation significantly predicted lower willingness to comply. Vertical individualist and vertical collectivist orientations predicted higher psychological response in terms of distress, anxiety, and depression, while horizontal collectivistic orientation significantly predicted less psychological problems. Implications of the effect of individual-level cultural orientations on attitudes toward public health compliance and psychological well-being during global health crises are discussed.
... Everett and colleagues (2020) found that a COVID-19 health message promoting following preventive health measures to protect family, friends, and fellow citizens was more effective at convincing people to share health messaging on social media than messages that did not draw upon the idea of social groups. Other studies on COVID-19 have found that posters highlighting the risks of infecting vulnerable people were more effective at promoting prevention behaviors (Lunn et al., 2020), as were posters highlighting the risk to spread (rather than to get) the virus (Jordan et al., 2020). ...
Article
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COVID-19 is an unprecedented threat and an effective response requires a collective effort: engagement in preventive health behaviors, even from people at low risk. Previous research demonstrates that belongingness to social groups can promote prosocial, preventive health behaviors. The current research tests the effects of belongingness to two types of groups, intimate (family) and social category (nation), on intentions to comply with preventive health behaviors and reasons for these behaviors. We conducted three studies using French participants at low risk of grave effects from COVID-19 (total N = 875). In Study 1, across three time periods, belongingness was correlated with greater intentions to comply with preventive behaviors when these behaviors were not enforced by law. In Study 2, we experimentally manipulated threat to belongingness (vs. no threat). When belongingness was threatened, participants were less concerned with protecting vulnerable people. Closeness to family predicted preventive behavior intentions and both self-centered and prosocial reasons for these behaviors, regardless of condition. National identification buffered the negative effects of the threat to belongingness condition on preventive behavior intentions. In Study 3, we experimentally primed thoughts of belongingness to family vs. nation vs. control condition. We found greater intentions to engage in preventive behaviors and greater concern with protecting oneself and close relatives in the family condition. In summary, belongingness to one's family promotes preventive behavior intentions and the reasons given are to protect both oneself and others. Self-reported (but not primed) national identification can be related to prevention behavior intentions under certain conditions.
Article
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This paper introduces a novel theoretical model and measure of strategic thinking in social decision making. The model distinguishes four strategic orientations: egocentric (thinking about how one’s actions shape one’s outcomes), impact (thinking about how one’s actions shapes others’ outcomes), dependency (thinking about how others’ actions shape one’s outcomes), and altercentric (thinking about how others’ actions shape their outcomes). Applying this model to explain social behavior in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, an exploratory study finds that the more people think about how their actions shape others’ outcomes, the more likely they are to: (a) comply with social distancing restrictions designed to curb the spread of the virus, and (b) donate money they received in the study to charitable organizations. These findings advance understanding of the multifaceted nature of strategic thinking and highlight the usefulness of the Strategic Thinking Scale for explaining social behavior.
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The rapid spread of COVID-19 has emphasized the need for effective health communications to coordinate individual behavior and mitigate disease transmission. Facing a pandemic, individuals may be driven to adopt public health recommendations based on both self-interested desires to protect oneself and prosocial desires to protect others. Although messages can be framed around either, existing research from the social sciences has offered mixed evidence regarding their relative efficacy. Informing this dialogue, in the current study we report on the findings of a field experiment (N = 25,580) conducted March 21–22 on Facebook during the critical initial weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. We observed that ad messages using a distant prosocial frame (“protect your community”) were in fact significantly less effective than those using a self-focused frame (“protect yourself”) in eliciting clickthroughs to official CDC recommendations. However, ad messages with a close prosocial frame (“protect your loved ones”) were equally effective as the self-focused frame. These findings catalog the differential efficacy of ad messaging strategies during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Article
Background: Adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for COVID-19, including physical distancing, masking, staying home while sick, and avoiding crowded indoor spaces remain critical for limiting the spread of COVID-19. Objective: This study tests the effectiveness of using various persuasive appeals (deontological moral frame, empathy, identifiable victim, goal proximity, and reciprocity) at improving intentions to adhere to prevention behaviors. Methods: A randomized online experiment using a representative sample of adult Canadian residents with respect to age, ethnicity, and province of residence was conducted between March 3-6, 2021. Participants indicated their intentions to follow public health guidelines, saw one of six flyers featuring a persuasive appeal or no appeal, then rated their intentions a second time. Known correlates of attitudes toward public health measures were also measured. Results: Intentions to adhere to public health measures increased in all appeal conditions. The message featuring an empathy appeal resulted in a greater increase in intentions than the control (no appeal) message. Moreover, the effectiveness of persuasive appeals was moderated by baseline intentions. Deontological, empathy, identifiable victim, and reciprocity appeals improved intentions more than the control message but only for people with lower baseline intentions to adhere to NPIs. Conclusions: Public health marketing campaigns aiming to increase adherence to COVID-19 protective behaviors could achieve modest gains by employing a range of persuasive appeals. To maximize impact, however, it is important that these campaigns be targeted to the right individuals.
Article
To encourage health insurance uptake, marketers and policymakers have focused on consumers' economic self‐interest, attempting to show that insurance is a good deal or to sweeten the deal, with subsidies or penalties. Still, some consumers see insurance as a bad deal, either because they rationally exploit private risk information (“adverse selection”), or irrationally misperceive the value due to cognitive biases (e.g., optimism). As a result, about 30 million Americans remain uninsured, including many who could afford it. At the same time, polling suggests that Americans view health insurance through a moral lens, seeking to protect those with pre‐existing conditions especially. In other markets, “green halo” and “noble edge” frames have been shown effective. As part of a broader research agenda on private law solutions to healthcare policy, we test whether moral framing could support insurance uptake. We report four phases of research. First, to understand current health insurance marketing in America, we collected the universe of advertisements from the state and federal exchanges and coded a 10% sample for themes of economic self‐interest versus three moral themes: helping others, helping community, or responsibility. In the 199 ads in which any theme appeared, 191 ads centered on economic self‐interest. Second, we enrolled 344 uninsured Americans in an online, vignette experiment where we offered various insurance plans. Over a baseline where 43.6% were willing to purchase insurance, we found that framing an economically identical plan around generosity yielded an 11.8% higher uptake. Third, we conducted five focus groups with 32 adults, including two groups in Spanish. We explored variations in the frames and probed for resistance, to prepare for the next phase of research. Fourth, using an online advertising platform (Google), we purchased 5.6 million advertising impressions in English and Spanish, targeting higher‐income Americans nationwide during the 2021 open‐enrollment period. Consumers saw advertisements from a control group (highlighting economic self‐interest, with real ads collected from the field) versus three experimental groups (helping others, helping community, or responsibility). We measured whether consumers clicked to “shop now” on the HealthCare.gov website (1.01% click‐through rate [CTR] in English and 1.38% CTR in Spanish at baseline). Helping community ads increased CTR over the control by 14.5% in English and by 33.7% in Spanish. Ads emphasizing responsibility increased CTR by 30.3% in English, though reduced CTR by 14.7% in Spanish. Helping others ads increased CTR by 9.8% in English but decreased CTR by 13.9% in Spanish. All of these results were significant at the 0.01 level and were robust to demographic controls and subgroup analyses, using individual and county‐level covariates. Although the optimal approach varies, the status quo self‐oriented message of economic rationality was not the top‐performing approach for either language group. Scaled up to real‐world advertising budgets, back‐of‐the‐envelope extrapolation suggests that under moral framing, millions of additional Americans could be driven to shop for health insurance.
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The COVID -19 pandemic dramatically affected people’s lives. In this study, we explored the role of social and personal factors underlying individuals’ adaptive responses during the critical onset period of the outbreak. In particular, we tested two models on the mediating role of health-protective behaviors in the relationship between social support, resilience, and helping behavior. A sample of 1085 participants from Portugal and Brazil took part in an online survey during the first wave of the pandemic. First, through an Exploratory Factor Analysis of the health-protective behaviors to prevent contagion by the coronavirus, we identified two distinct dimensions, one aggregating active protective behaviors and the other as avoidant behaviors. Secondly, we found that resilience and active protective behavior sequentially mediated the relationship between social support and willingness to help. In addition, a multigroup analysis showed that this mediational process was similar in both countries. Given the wide range of social and individual factors that may predict prosocial behaviors, we highlight the role of social support on the intention to help through resilience and active protective behaviors.
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Assumptions surrounding the origins of Covid-19, the relationship between human mobility and the spread of the virus, and the pressure that the pandemic has placed on communities, have exacerbated xenophobic tensions globally, including in South Africa, a country long-associated with xenophobia. Previous research exploring how the South African media frames migration, and research investigating the framing of migration during Covid-19 in other contexts, has found that the media tends to frame migrants in terms of (un)deservingness and blame them for the spread of disease. Our findings, however, identify different concerns. This article discusses findings from a 12-month study exploring how migrant and mobile populations in South Africa were framed in the media as the pandemic developed during 2020. A news aggregator—Meltwater—was used to scrape the internet for English language text-based media published globally in 2020 that met a search with key terms Migration, Covid-19, and South Africa. A total of 12,068 articles were identified and descriptively analysed. Informed by previous approaches, a framing analysis was then undertaken of a sample of 561 articles. Findings illustrate how articles published by outlets based in the US and UK have a far greater reach than locally or regionally produced articles, despite local and regional outlets publishing far more consistently on the topic. Consistent and sympathetic engagement with issues of migration by South African publications was seen across 2020 and suggests that those writing from the region are aware of the realities of migration and mobility. Findings show that rather than centring migrants as the locus of blame for failures of the South African state—as has been done in the past—the state and its failure to adequately respond to both Covid-19 and migration are now being clearly articulated by media.
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This study highlights the influence of diverse kinds of persuasive messages on intention to stay home during COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to be the top modern societal challenge necessitating extensive collective action and collaboration. The statistical population included Iranian individuals by answering our online survey questionnaires at diverse phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. 406 completed questionnaires were gathered and analyzed. Note that, according to the official reports, Iran encountered COVID-19 disease since February 19, 2020. Data collection was started on July 18, 2020 (at the beginning of second wave of COVID-19 in Iran) and lasted until October 30, 2020. Various social network platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram were used for distribution of the questionnaires. According to the results, perceived severity and perceived self-efficacy had an insignificant direct influence on intention to stay home. From another perspective, perceived vulnerability (β = 0.261, CI = 0.059; 0.242]) and perceived response efficacy (β = 0.502, CI = 0.347; 0.656]) positively and significantly affected the intention to stay home. Moreover, no significant difference was found between these two kinds of media messages in research sample. Our findings showed that “perceived response efficacy” has the highest importance score of 0.502; if the perceived response efficacy performance is boosted by one unit point by individuals during COVID-19 pandemic, its overall intention to stay home will increase by 0.502. Besides, our results showed that lowest performance (78.104) is associated with perceived vulnerability highlighting an excellent opportunity for improvement in this area.
Book
This volume examines the topic of compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, and the non-pharmaceutical measures taken by governments in attempts to bring the pandemic under control.
Book
This volume places the spotlight on the role different media and communications systems played in informing the public about the pandemic, shaping their views about what was happening and contributing to behavioural compliances with pandemic-related restrictions.
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The present study aims to assess the relationship between prevention and panic from COVID-19, ethical principles, life expectancy, anxiety, depression, and stress in auditors and financial managers of small- and medium-sized Iraqi firms. In other words, this paper seeks to answer the question of whether different types of prevention and panic from COVID-19 can enhance the ethical principles, life expectancy, anxiety, depression, and stress, or not. The study method is practical in its objective and descriptive survey procedure. The study’s statistical population includes 185 employed auditors in audit firms, and 215 financial managers of small- and medium-sized Iraqi firms were selected as a sample of the study using the Cochran Sampling Method. In this paper, PLS tests are used to assess the effect of independent variables on the dependent variable. The results indicate no significant relationship between prevention from COVID-19 and ethical principles and life expectancy. However, the association between prevention from COVID-19 and anxiety, depression, and stress, and between panic from COVID-19 and ethical principles, life expectancy, anxiety, depression, and stress is positive and significant. The higher the panic from COVID-19, the more ethical principles, life expectancy, anxiety, depression, and stress. Since no study has been carried out so far on the effect of prevention and panic from COVID-19, ethical principles, life expectancy, depression, and stress in Iraqi firms, the present study results can provide valuable information and contribute to the development of science and knowledge.
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Scientists and policymakers seek to choose effective interventions that promote preventative health measures. We evaluated whether academics, behavioral science practitioners, and laypeople (N = 1034) were able to forecast the effectiveness of seven different messages compared to a baseline message for Republicans and Democrats separately. These messages were designed to nudge mask-wearing attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. When examining predictions across political parties, forecasters predicted larger effects than those observed for Democrats compared to Republicans and made more accurate predictions for Republicans compared to Democrats. These results are partly driven by a lack of nudge effects on Democrats, as reported in Gelfand et al. (J Exp Soc Psychol, 2021). Academics and practitioners made more accurate predictions compared to laypeople. Although forecasters' predictions were correlated with the nudge interventions, all groups overestimated the observed results. We discuss potential reasons for why the forecasts did not perform better and how more accurate forecasts of behavioral intervention outcomes could potentially provide insight that can help save resources and increase the efficacy of interventions.
Chapter
This Article explores which tools the legal system should use to promote pro-social behaviourBehaviour in the face of the COVID-19COVID-19pandemicPandemic. More specifically, the Article compares nudgesNudges (i.e., choice-preserving, behaviourally informed tools that encourage people to behave as desired) and mandatesMandates (i.e., obligations backed by sanctions that dictate to people how they must behave), and it argues that mandates rather than nudges should serve in most cases as the primary legal tool used to promote risk reduction during a pandemic. The Article nonetheless highlights the role nudges can play as complements to mandates, and surveys numerous nudges that were used by regulators around the world.
Article
The American reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic is polarized, with conservatives often less willing to engage in risk-mitigation strategies such as mask-wearing and vaccination. COVID-19 narratives are also polarized, as some conservative elites focus on the economy over public health. In this registered report, we test whether combining economic and public health messages can persuade individuals to increase support for COVID-19 risk mitigation. We present preliminary evidence that the combination of messages is complementary, rather than competing or polarizing. When given a message emphasizing COVID-19’s negative health and economic effects in a pilot study, conservatives increased their support for a broad range of risk-mitigation strategies, while liberals maintained high levels of support. A preregistered larger- n follow-up study, however, failed to replicate this effect. While complementary frames may be a promising way to persuade voters on some issues, they may also struggle to overcome high levels of existing polarization.
Chapter
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented crisis in the higher education sector through campuses closing worldwide. To contain the disease, authorities required their citizens to wear facemasks in public spaces. As universities return to in-person instruction, they will probably require all students to wear facemasks while on-campus. This study examined antecedents of voluntary adoption of facemasks through a survey of students enrolled in Mexico City universities in the Fall of 2020. It was hypothesized that Social Value Orientation (SVO) and Trust would be positively related to facemask adoption. Findings revealed that among students, wearing a facemask reflects distinct conducts depending on the social context. Regression results show that SVO and Trust significantly predict facemask use but only in some contexts, giving partial support to hypotheses. A key implication is that public health communications should avoid general messages recommending facemasks, and craft more nuanced appeals targeting specific social contexts.
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We study the factors associated with compliance with social‐distancing regulations using a unique data set on the behaviour of Ontarians during the COVID‐19 pandemic. To start, we build a simple theoretical model of social distancing in order to understand how some individual and community‐level factors influence compliance. We test our model's predictions by designing and conducting a survey on Ontarians in June and July 2020 in which we elicit their degree of compliance with existing distancing regulations as well as alternative policies such as fines for non‐compliance and wage subsidies for staying at home. Consistent with our model, we find that variables related to one's risk of infection (e.g., pre‐existing health condition, age, necessity of working outside the home and regional COVID‐19 cases) are significant predictors of compliance as are gender, political beliefs, risk and time preferences. To boost compliance among those who are young, healthy or apartment dwellers, we demonstrate the effectiveness of fines and wage subsidies. Respect des règles de distanciation sociale : théorie et données empiriques observées en Ontario au cours de la pandémie de COVID‐19. En nous appuyant sur un ensemble de données uniques relatives au comportement des Ontariens au cours de la pandémie de COVID‐19, nous étudions les facteurs associés au respect des règles de distanciation sociale. Tout d'abord, nous développons un modèle théorique simple afin de mieux comprendre comment certains facteurs individuels ou communautaires peuvent avoir une incidence sur le respect des règles. Nous testons ensuite les prédictions de notre modèle par l'entremise d'une enquête réalisée et conduite entre juin et juillet 2020 dans laquelle nous interrogeons les Ontariens sur leur degré de respect des règles de distanciation sociale existantes ainsi que des solutions alternatives, par exemple les amendes en cas d'infraction ou le recours aux subventions salariales pour rester chez soi. Conformément à notre modèle, nous constatons que les variables liées au risque d'infection d'un individu, par exemple les antécédents médicaux, l'âge, la nécessité de travailler à l'extérieur ou le nombre de cas de COVID‐19 dans la région, représentent autant d'indicateurs fiables en matière de respect des règles que le genre, les opinions politiques, les préférences temporelles ou le degré d'aversion au risque. Nous démontrons également l'efficacité des amendes et des subventions salariales pour renforcer le respect des règles auprès de la population jeune, en bonne santé ou résidant en appartement.
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This study uses the theory of planned behavior as a framework to predict intentions of noncompliance with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic while also assessing the predictive role of intolerance of uncertainty and sociodemographic variables. A total of 2,056 Brazilian participants completed measures on attitudes, injunctive, and descriptive norms, and perceived behavioral control toward social distancing. They also answered about their political ideology, income, employment status, gender, age, and educational level. Our findings indicate that positive attitudes toward complying with physical distancing, stronger descriptive norms using ingroup members as referents, and weaker perceived behavioral control over the action of breaching social distancing predict stronger adherence. Besides, individuals who support right-wing parties, younger people, and males are more prone to noncompliance. We suggest designing interventions that foster positive attitudes toward social distancing and address the negative consequences that violating social distancing can cause to in-group members to persuade individuals to stay at home. We also discuss the need for support from prominent political figures to increase adherence to this preventive measure.
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Compassion involves feeling others’ pain, being moved by it, and acting in a manner that eases the suffering. Originally conceptualized as an individual-level phenomenon, organization scholars extend the concept to the organizational level as ‘collective compassion’ and call for expanding it to societal levels. We note that the dynamics of rousing collective compassion, however, may be different in organizational as opposed to societal contexts: the observers and the sufferers are in personal or close contact in the former context, whereas mass media is often the bridge connecting both in the latter. In this paper, we seek to deepen the understanding of the dynamics of rousing collective compassion at the societal level, by delineating the elements in media reports that can feed into compassion rousing processes. Based on a thematic analysis of newspaper reports from India on the first seven days after the Asian Tsunami, we identify four groups of elements—‘attention drawing elements’, ‘cognitive framing elements’, ‘affective arousal elements’ and ‘behaviour modelling elements’—which can respectively influence each of the four individual compassion subprocesses, namely noticing, appraising, feeling and acting. We offer a conceptual model to comprehensively represent collective compassion rousing at societal level, integrating our findings with prior research.
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Introduction In France, despite fear-based communication by the authorities and the media, vaccination against COVID-19 has received little support from the population. For a young population often convinced that severe forms of the disease affect older people, we hypothesized that communication based on the idea of love would be more effective than communication based on fear of vaccination. Material and methods In a convenience online French sample (N = 480, M age = 19.4), vaccination intention was asked after fear priming, love priming, no love/prejudice priming, or a control condition. Participants also reported their fear of vaccination against COVID-19, and the recommendation they would make regarding vaccination of a loved/unloved person. Results Vaccination intention was higher in the love condition than in the fear and no love/prejudice conditions. Surprisingly, fear of vaccination was lower in participants who were presented with fear-inducing questions. Conclusions Implications of these results are discussed in relation to the fear of vaccination and the transpersonal value of the idea of love. The results suggest that COVID-19 is experienced as a threat both to oneself and to those one loves most. Therefore, calls for fear in the media and on social networks seem less likely to motivate a young population to vaccinate than the reminder of intense emotional ties to loved ones.
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Persuading people to mask Even in places where it is obligatory, people tend to optimistically overstate their compliance for mask wearing. How then can we persuade more of the population at large to act for the greater good? Abaluck et al . undertook a large, cluster-randomized trial in Bangladesh involving hundreds of thousands of people (although mostly men) over a 2-month period. Colored masks of various construction were handed out free of charge, accompanied by a range of mask-wearing promotional activities inspired by marketing research. Using a grassroots network of volunteers to help conduct the study and gather data, the authors discovered that mask wearing averaged 13.3% in villages where no interventions took place but increased to 42.3% in villages where in-person interventions were introduced. Villages where in-person reinforcement of mask wearing occurred also showed a reduction in reporting COVID-like illness, particularly in high-risk individuals. —CA
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The article examines the psychological antecedents and opportunities for correcting attitudes associated with the person’s rejection of COVID-19 prevention measures. The psychological factors that favor the appearance of such attitudes in a person are discussed. Three groups of these antecedents are distinguished, differing in terms of their place in the structure of the psyche and the degree of their stability during a person’s life: stable, relatively stable, dynamic. The group of stable psychological antecedents includes personality traits, cognitive/thinking style, personal values; into the group of relatively stable – worldview beliefs, science-related knowledge, peculiarities of the social self and group identity; into the group of dynamic ones – the psychological state, attitudes, and beliefs regarding the situation of the pandemic. Two main strategies for counteracting negative attitudes and beliefs a re highlighted: preventive (implemented even before the emergence of undesirable attitudes and the appearance of misinformation provoking their occurrence), reactive (carried out after the formation of negative attitudes and beliefs). Various options for implementing a preventive strategy are considered: limiting the spread of misinformation about COVID-19, preventing its refutation, and developing people’s skills to detect misinformation. The factors of the effectiveness of the reactive counteraction strategy are analyzed: the type of tactics used to correct negative attitudes, the characteristics of the source of misinformation about COVID-19, the structure of the refuting message, the frequency of repetition of misinformation, the time elapsed between its appearance and rebutting it, the degree and direction of the recipient’s cognitive activity, his/her views and beliefs.
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With recurring waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, a dilemma facing public health leadership is whether to provide public advice that is medically optimal (e.g., most protective against infection if followed), but unlikely to be adhered to, or advice that is less protective but is more likely to be followed. To provide insight about this dilemma, we examined and quantified public perceptions about the tradeoff between (a) the stand-alone value of health behavior advice, and (b) the advice’s adherence likelihood. In a series of studies about preference for public health leadership advice, we asked 1061 participants to choose between (5) strict advice that is medically optimal if adhered to but which is less likely to be broadly followed, and (2) relaxed advice, which is less medically effective but more likely to gain adherence—given varying infection expectancies. Participants’ preference was consistent with risk aversion. Offering an informed choice alternative that shifts volition to advice recipients only strengthened risk aversion, but also demonstrated that informed choice was preferred as much or more than the risk-averse strict advice.
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Some people feel they are invincible to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). They believe that being infected with COVID-19 would not be a serious threat to their health. While these people may or may not be correct in their personal risk assessment, we find that such perceived invincibility may undermine community efforts to achieve herd immunity. Multi-level analysis of survey respondents across 51 countries finds that perceived invincibility from COVID-19 is negatively associated with believing there is a need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in one’s community ( n = 218,956) and one’s willingness to inoculate against the disease ( n = 71,148). These effects are most pronounced among individuals from countries lower in cultural collectivism (e.g., USA, UK, Canada) and highlight the need to consider the interplay of individual and cultural factors in our efforts to understand, predict, and promote preventative health behavior during a pandemic.
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