Article

Exploring the social and emotional representations used by students from the University of the Basque Country to face the first outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic

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Abstract

In 2020, COVID-19, a new emerging infectious disease (EID), was spread throughout the world, including Europe. Spain, in particular, witnessed a significant outbreak of the pandemic. In consequence, all classes were cancelled and the Government declared a state of emergency, ordering the lockdown of the entire population from March to May. The aim of this research is to explore the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the representations of young university students from the University of the Basque Country and their emotional response when the crisis started. A free-association exercise was completed by 503 students from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) (Northern Spain). To analyze the content, the Reinert method was used with the Iramuteq software for lexical analysis. The results showed that students placed COVID-19 at a distance from the self, pointing out issues related to social response and disinformation, while showing concerns for self-related issues that are linked to negative emotions, academic consequences, and potentially close victims. The students’ concerns were categorized at four main levels: the communicative-informative level, health-emotional level, community-social level, and academic level. All of this has created overwhelming feelings of nervousness, along with anger and emotional fatigue. These results indicate the necessity for universities to work from a holistic standpoint, not only in terms of responding to academic needs but also from psychological, communicative, social, health, and well-being perspectives.

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... This situation created an upheaval, leading to problems with motivation, concentration, manageability and efficiency, emotions of nervousness, fear, worry and sleeplessness among students. [1][2][3][4] In Norway, there is an increasing shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs), causing serious challenges for the health care sector and the society in the years to come. Consequently, it is crucial that students choose to study nursing and complete their education. ...
... [15] As previously stated, among nursing students the COVID-19 pandemic caused an upheaval of stress, anxiety, nervousness, uncertainty, fear and sleeplessness causing low motivation, concentration and study efficiency. [1][2][3][4] Consequently, universities should embrace the pandemic situation in health promoting ways, as well as identifying salutogenic learning resources. Currently, there is a call for studies applying salutogenesis to fields beyond the health care sector. ...
... A recent study among nursing students direct the necessity for universities to work from a holistic viewpoint, in terms of not only responding to academic needs but also from psychological, communicative, social, health, and well-being perspectives. [2] The salutogenic prespective utilized in this study is holistic, [10,11,14] representing an answer to this necessity. ...
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Article
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Article
Anti-corruption education is important in curbing corruption behavior. However, there is limited evidence about what should be designed into the anti-corruption curriculum for young people. Hence, this study intends to make suggestions about the development of anticorruption education in Malaysia based on Theory of Social Representation. A survey to explore young people’s lay representation toward corruption was carried out. 232 respondents between 18 to 33 years old (M=19.79, SD=2.65) participated in this crosssectional survey performed in Malays Language and translated into English for report purposes. The lay representation of the terms "corruption” was obtained using the free association and the rank-frequency technique. The result suggests five important considerations for the development of anti-corruption education: (1) educate people about the concept of corruption that includes not only money exchange; (2) continue to provide examples of integrity and legal practices in politics; (3) educate people about all types of corruption, (4) emphasize that corruption is not acceptable regardless of any situation or circumstances and (5) educate people about the effects of corruption. This suggestion could be used by the government, stakeholders, schools, and non-profit organizations who are interested in educating the public or creating anti-corruption awareness among young people in Malaysia.
... Students had to deal with delays in academic activities [9], the transition to online education, the administration of homework, projects and other ongoing assessments. Students began to fear that the pandemic could have a serious impact on their careers [10,11] and they were also very concerned about their health, safety and the well-being of their families [12]. Social distancing, lockdowns and other restrictions and norms to stop the spread of the virus are factors related to an increased rates of depression in the general population [13] and particularly in university students [14,15]. ...
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... Nevertheless, the feelings of solitude and loneliness are new. Whilst to some extent these feelings could be linked to the confinement that has been imposed by the lockdown measures, it should be noted that these emotions have not been reported in similar research studies of COVID-19 in either young people (Idoiaga et al., 2021a) or the general population (Idoiaga et al., 2021b). According to Berger and Poirie (1995), loneliness is an exceedingly painful experience that is the sum of an unfulfilled need for intimacy and social relationships that are felt to be insufficient or not entirely satisfactory. ...
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Spain has become one of the European epicenters of coronavirus (COVID-19), a virus that particularly affects the elderly, since this group accounts for the majority of hospitalized cases and has the highest mortality rates. Therefore, the aim of this research is to understand how elderly people represent and emotionally cope with COVID-19 during the days when the pandemic emerged in Spain. Using a qualitative methodology, a free association exercise elicited by the word “COVID-19” was completed by 115 participants (age range: 60–85 years) from the North of Spain. Lexical analysis was used to analyze the content. The results revealed that the government and the mass media are criticized for failing to communicate a clear message, and for giving out information that is both insufficient and contradictory. However, participants are clear that it is essential to follow the guidelines of the scientists and doctors, which are represented as credible sources. However, when the state of alarm and the lockdown of all citizens was declared, most of the participants represented the risk as being associated with the elderly and the pandemic became something that might also affect their families. Due to these circumstances, negative emotions appear such as fear, nervousness, uncertainty, restlessness, and insecurity. Feelings of solitude and loneliness also emerged, and these are represented as being linked to death. These results indicate the need for governments to manage the current situation with the elderly by placing greater emphasis on social and inclusive policies to help alleviate the possible effects of the pandemic and the lockdown.
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Using social representations theory this paper casts light on the pattern of content that characterises the public response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (EID). The pattern is: distancing the disease from the self/ one's in-groups; blame of particular entities for the disease's origin and/or spread; and stigmatisation of those who have contracted it and/or who are represented as having intensified its spread. This pattern is not unique to EID but extends to many risks, making EID fruitful events for understanding public apprehension of potential dangers. This process may be driven by worry, fear and anxiety since when levels of these are low, as has arguably been the case with the 2009/10 "Swine Flu" pandemic, the pattern transforms. The distancing-blame-stigma pattern may also be transformed by growing reflexivity, a feature of late modern societies, as well as material features of the epidemic and "EID fatigue".
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To investigate the relationship between risk perception, worry, control, trust, exposure to an educational campaign, media exaggeration with recommendations for pandemic influenza H1N1 2009. Cross sectional telephone survey using random digit dialing. A total of 1010 adult Italians were interviewed by telephone between 16 and 19 February 2010. The survey instrument included demographic data, measures on risk perception, worry, trust and compliance with recommendations for pandemic influenza H1N1 2009. Controlling for socio-demographic variables, compliance with all the recommended behaviors was associated with media trust, trust in the Ministry of Health, worry and perceived severity of illness. Perceptions that the risk of catching pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 is high, that the authorities are acting in the public's best interest in dealing with it, that the media had exaggerated the risks of catching it and that people can control their risk of catching it were associated with compliance with some recommended behaviors even after considering effects of socio-demographic characteristics. The results underscore the importance of building public trust and to consider the influence of risk perception and affective response in promoting compliance with recommended behaviors.
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A new method is presented, which enables extracting the pattern of social representations of an object from corpora in natural language "about" this object. Interrogation of a source of common knowledge (a representative sample of a population, a dictionary, a set of articles or books), yields a corpus of linguistic statements concerning the object. In the case of individuals, an open question on free association (What comes comes to your mind about...?). In the case of dictionaries, the set of all definitions of synonyms and analogues of the word in question is used. The corpus is then processed with a software that breaks up the corpus into statements (e. g. : sentences), and then makes a classification of those statements, on the basis of co-occurrence of lexical traits. Each class is considered as a basic nucleus of the representation, characterised by typical lexical traits. Multivariate analysis enables to represent the relationship of those nuclei and traits in a semantic space of connotations. Demonstration of the method is presented on two corpuses about "eating", (1) coming from a survey using the free association technique on a 2000 sample representative of the French population, (2) 544 definitions of synonyms and analogues of "to eat" from a large dictionary. Results are quite similar on both corpuses ; they yield a very clear model of the social representation of "eating", which is coherent with the findings by qualitative methods in the literature. The paper is based on a presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Social representations. Rio de janeiro, 1994. It can be downloaded on open access from the publisher's website.
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In a pandemic young adults are more likely to be infected, increasing the potential for Universities to be explosive disease outbreak centres. Outbreak management is essential to reduce the impact in both the institution and the surrounding community. Through the use of an online survey, we aimed to measure the perceptions and responses of staff and students towards pandemic (H1N1) 2009 at a major university in Sydney, Australia. The survey was available online from 29 June to 30 September 2009. The sample included academic staff, general staff and students of the University. A total of 2882 surveys were completed. Nearly all respondents (99.6%, 2870/2882) were aware of the Australian pandemic situation and 64.2% (1851/2882) reported either "no anxiety" or "disinterest." Asian-born respondents were significantly (p < 0.001) more likely to believe that the pandemic was serious compared to respondents from other regions. 75.9% (2188/2882) of respondents had not made any lifestyle changes as a result of the pandemic. Most respondents had not adopted any specific behaviour change, and only 20.8% (600/2882) had adopted the simplest health behaviour, i.e. hand hygiene. Adoption of a specific behaviour change was linked to anxiety and Asian origin. Students were more likely to attend the university if unwell compared with staff members. Positive responses from students strongly indicate the potential for expanding online teaching and learning resources for continuing education in disaster settings. Willingness to receive the pandemic vaccine was associated with seasonal influenza vaccination uptake over the previous 3 years. Responses to a pandemic are subject to change in its pre-, early and mid-outbreak stages. Lessons for these institutions in preparation for a second wave and future disease outbreaks include the need to promote positive public health behaviours amongst young people and students.
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Pandemic influenza poses a future health threat against which infection control behaviours may be an important defence. However, there is little qualitative research examining perceptions of infection control measures in the context of pandemic influenza. Eight focus groups and one interview were conducted with a purposive sample of 31 participants. Participants were invited to discuss their perceptions of infection transmission and likely adherence to infection control measures in both non-pandemic and pandemic contexts. Infection control measures discussed included handwashing, social distancing and cough hygiene (e.g. covering mouth, disposing of tissues immediately etc.). Thematic analysis revealed that although participants were knowledgeable about infection transmission, most expressed unfavourable attitudes toward control behaviours in non-pandemic situations. However, with the provision of adequate education about control measures and appropriate practical support (e.g. memory aids, access to facilities), most individuals report that they are likely to adhere to infection control protocols in the event of a pandemic. Of the behaviours likely to influence infection transmission, handwashing was regarded by our participants as more feasible than cough and sneeze hygiene and more acceptable than social distancing. Handwashing could prove a useful target for health promotion, but interventions to promote infection control may need to address a number of factors identified within this study as potential barriers to carrying out infection control behaviours.
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This study explores shared thinking about HIV/AIDS among Zambian adolescents. With high numbers affected, the question is how this group represents its risk. Social representations of the origin, spread and risk of HIV/AIDS were gleaned via 60 semistructured interviews with urban 15 to 20 year olds. A systematic analysis revealed a shared picture: AIDS was linked to the West, God and teenage girls; its spread lay beyond the control of adolescent boys and men; and the personal sense of vulnerability was low. The results are discussed in light of their corroboration of the finding that social representations of danger can be identity protective, yet also system justifying. The potential transfer of such findings to psychological theory and to health campaigns is considered.
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In western cultures lay people are faced with a plethora of far-flung illnesses, relayed to them by the mass media. A number of social scientists have called for scrutiny of the link between people's patterns of thinking concerning such events, and the messages to which they are exposed. Using the outbreaks of Ebola in Africa in the mid-1990s as a vehicle, the study examines how British broadsheets and their readers, and British tabloids and their readers, make sense of this far-flung illness. Existing work on early representations of HIV/AIDS in the west is utilised to inform the research questions. In particular, this study investigates whether Ebola is constructed as a threat, how media and lay representations of Ebola interact, and whether there are different pockets of shared thinking, or a more uniform representation, in relation to Ebola in Britain. An analysis of the themes in 48 broadsheet and tabloid articles, and 50 interviews with their readers, reveals a common picture in which Ebola is represented as African. associated with African practices, and seen as posing little threat to Britain. However, group differences exist, and are characterised by a more essentialised vision of Ebola in the tabloids and their readers, in contrast to a focus on structural features linked to Ebola's escalation in the broadsheets and their readers. In terms of the media-mind relationship, beyond the similarities found between media type and their respective readers' ideas, certain key differences exist: While the newspapers make Ebola 'real' by referring to its potential to globalise. as well as to how it can be contained, lay thinkers feel detached from it, and draw an analogy between Ebola and science fiction. This is discussed as a method of symbolic coping on the part of the readers, as well as in terms of the power exerted by media imagery on lay representations of Ebola.
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The paper explores the social representation of the 2001 Hong Kong avian bird flu epidemic from the perspective of local women. Fifty women were asked to describe their first thoughts about the flu, and these were subsequently explored. Thematic analysis of the semi-structured interviews revealed that the first thoughts were characterized by: (a) the origin of the epidemic, (b) anchors for it, (c) emotions about it, and (d) images of it. Aspersion concerning the lack of hygiene of Mainland Chinese chicken rearers and chicken sellers in Hong Kong dominated the interviews. Other environmental factors were also stressed, as was regulation leniency and a drive to profit. Comparisons between old traditions and newer practices formed a central feature. The findings are discussed in terms of their continuity with western risk findings as well as their specific cultural nuances.
Article
Spain has been in a state of emergency since 14th March due to the COVID-19 crisis. This state of emergency means that the population must comply with strict rules such as lockdown (confinement to their homes except for essential trips) and social distancing. The aim of this study was to examine the psychological state of the general population in a sample recruited in Northern Spain. Sociodemographic and psychological data were gathered, assessing variables such as stress, anxiety, and depression. A questionnaire was administered at the beginning of the lockdown and three weeks later. The sample was recruited using an online questionnaire by means of a non-probabilistic snowball sampling methodology. A total of 1,933 people participated in this study. The results reveal that more than a quarter of the participants have reported symptoms of depression (27.5%), anxiety (26.9%) and stress (26.5%) and as the time spent in lockdown has progressed, psychological symptoms have risen. In relation to gender, data indicate that men have higher levels of depression than women, and similar levels of anxiety and stress. Greater symptomatology has also been found among the younger population and in people with chronic diseases. We discuss the need to continue carrying out these types of studies to prevent and treat psychological problems that could emerge amidst this pandemic.
Article
The detection of first COVID-19 infected industrial worker in Vietnam on 13 April 2020 prompted timely effort to examine the health problems, behaviors, and health services access of industrial workers to inform effective and appropriate COVID-19 control measures, minimizing the risk of industrial sites becoming the next disease cluster. A search strategy involving search terms corresponding to ‘health’, ‘industrial worker’, and ‘Vietnam’ was applied to search for related papers published in English on Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Duplicates were removed, and relevant data were extracted from the full text of remaining publications. Results showed that underlying health problems, including respiratory system problems, were common among industrial workers. Many suffered occupational diseases and/or workrelated injuries. Self-treatment (without medication) was the most used method when having health problems (by 28.2% to 51% of participants), followed by visiting commune health centers (24%) and selfmedication (20.3%). Findings suggest a high risk of disease spreading among industrial workers and ofthem suffering more severe conditions when infected. Economic vulnerabilities may be the reason for workers’ reluctance to taking time off work to attend hospital/clinic. These imply a need for involving local pharmacies, commune health centers, traditional health providers or village health collaborators as local health gatekeepers who are the first point of detecting and reporting of suspected COVID-19 cases, as well as a channel where accurate information regarding COVID-19, protective equipment, and intervention packages can be delivered. Having COVID-19 testing centers at or near industrial sites are also recommended.
Article
This study is aimed to assess the anxiety level of Iranian general population during COVID-19 outbreak. The online questionnaire surveyed 10,754 individuals from the general population of 31 provinces of Iran who completed the questionnaire on social networks from March 1 to March 9, 2020. The inferential statistics suggests that the level of anxiety was higher among women (95% CI [0.1, 81.36], p < 0.001), people who more followed corona-related news (p < 0.001) and the age group of 21-40 years (p < 0.001). Ultimately, the level of anxiety was significantly higher among people who had at least one family member, relative, or friend who contracted COVID-19 disease (95% CI [1.2, 35.03], p < 0.001). The health care system should adopt a package of psychosocial interventions to reduce the anxiety of high risk groups.
Article
The SARS-CoV-2 virus reached Spain in March 2020, and a nationwide state of alert was declared on March 14th, leading to the confinement of the entire population. The current study was conducted in the Basque Autonomous Community in northern Spain. The authors analyzed stress, anxiety, and depression with the arrival of the virus and the levels of symptoms according to age, comorbidity, and confinement. Levels of anxiety, stress, and depression were measured in a sample of 976 adults, using the DASS scale (Depression Anxiety, and Stress Scale). Although levels of symptoms were generally low at the start of the alert, younger individuals with chronic diseases reported more symptoms than the rest of the population. The study also detected higher levels of symptoms after the stay-at-home order was issued. Such symptoms are predicted to increase as the confinement continues. The authors propose psychological interventions for prevention and treatment in order to mitigate the pandemic’s psychological impacts.
Article
Background: In December, 2019, a pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China. We aimed to further clarify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 2019-nCoV pneumonia. Methods: In this retrospective, single-centre study, we included all confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital from Jan 1 to Jan 20, 2020. Cases were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and were analysed for epidemiological, demographic, clinical, and radiological features and laboratory data. Outcomes were followed up until Jan 25, 2020. Findings: Of the 99 patients with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market. The average age of the patients was 55·5 years (SD 13·1), including 67 men and 32 women. 2019-nCoV was detected in all patients by real-time RT-PCR. 50 (51%) patients had chronic diseases. Patients had clinical manifestations of fever (82 [83%] patients), cough (81 [82%] patients), shortness of breath (31 [31%] patients), muscle ache (11 [11%] patients), confusion (nine [9%] patients), headache (eight [8%] patients), sore throat (five [5%] patients), rhinorrhoea (four [4%] patients), chest pain (two [2%] patients), diarrhoea (two [2%] patients), and nausea and vomiting (one [1%] patient). According to imaging examination, 74 (75%) patients showed bilateral pneumonia, 14 (14%) patients showed multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity, and one (1%) patient had pneumothorax. 17 (17%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and, among them, 11 (11%) patients worsened in a short period of time and died of multiple organ failure. Interpretation: The 2019-nCoV infection was of clustering onset, is more likely to affect older males with comorbidities, and can result in severe and even fatal respiratory diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. In general, characteristics of patients who died were in line with the MuLBSTA score, an early warning model for predicting mortality in viral pneumonia. Further investigation is needed to explore the applicability of the MuLBSTA score in predicting the risk of mortality in 2019-nCoV infection. Funding: National Key R&D Program of China.
Article
Today’s global society creates an environment characterised by complex problems, solutions to which require transcendence of traditional discipline-based boundaries, and new forms of knowledge-sharing. Higher education (HE) has a central role in interdisciplinary knowledge creation and dissemination, reinforced by funding councils, professional bodies and government policy. That notwithstanding, there is currently no recognised best practice approach to interdisciplinary working in UK HE institutes. The aim of this paper is to develop a best practice model to facilitate interdisciplinarity within the UK HE sector, focusing on teaching and learning and the student learning experience. Based on the results of an exploratory and empirical enquiry, a HE Interdisciplinary Model (HIM) of best practice is proposed. The HIM is informed by the development of four themes and six ensuing enablers from a synthesis of perceived barriers, possible facilitators and potential solutions to interdisciplinarity within UK HE. However, further research is necessary to validate the proposed model.
Article
This study examines how Ebola is transformed from purely scientific knowledge to public’s thinking through media communication, using Spain as a case study. To do so, this research carried out a lexical analysis in both classic media communication and social network communication (Twitter). The results showed that traditional news used a reified discourse pattern prescribing the discourse of scientists and authorities. Tweets, in contrast, adhered to a consensual pattern of discourse, characterized by heterogeneity of representation and intensive symbolic ideas. The implications of this familiarization of knowledge about science via media communication and the effect of social networks on how we should face future epidemics are considered.
Article
Background: pandemic influenza poses a future health threat against which infection control behaviours may be an important defence. However, there is little qualitative research examining perceptions of infection control measures in the context of pandemic influenza. Methods: eight focus groups and one interview were conducted with a purposive sample of 31 participants. Participants were invited to discuss their perceptions of infection transmission and likely adherence to infection control measures in both non-pandemic and pandemic contexts. Infection control measures discussed included handwashing, social distancing and cough hygiene (e.g. covering mouth, disposing of tissues immediately etc.). Results: thematic analysis revealed that although participants were knowledgeable about infection transmission, most expressed unfavourable attitudes toward control behaviours in non-pandemic situations. However, with the provision of adequate education about control measures and appropriate practical support (e.g. memory aids, access to facilities), most individuals report that they are likely to adhere to infection control protocols in the event of a pandemic. Of the behaviours likely to influence infection transmission, handwashing was regarded by our participants as more feasible than cough and sneeze hygiene and more acceptable than social distancing. Conclusion: handwashing could prove a useful target for health promotion, but interventions to promote infection control may need to address a number of factors identified within this study as potential barriers to carrying out infection control behaviours
Book
American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants’ personal experiences. Analyzing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker’s emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy. .
Article
This study examined the collective image of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, to understand how people incorporate this epidemic in their everyday thinking. A free association exercise elicited by Ebola was answered by 294 people from Spain and the content was analysed using Alceste software. First, results showed that Ebola was represented as inherently African. Second, it was also depicted as a global threat creating fear. People also felt anger, and they blamed political authorities and the mass media for the failure to manage this crisis. Finally, this research underlines the importance of the social representations to understand how current outbreaks are cognitively represented and emotionally faced as a key factor to appropriately manage future epidemics.
Article
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease of serious consequences caused by MERS Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Saudi communities still lack awareness of available protective measures to prevent the transmission of the virus. It is necessary to explore the current information-seeking strategies and preferences for communication tools among the Saudi population to promote dissemination of accurate information. Guided by McGuire's Input-Output Persuasion Model and focusing on input variables (receiver characteristics, sources, message, channel and destination), we explored the current information-seeking strategies and preferences for different communication tools among residents of Riyadh (n = 658). Preferred and sought-after information sources on MERS. Most participants in the sample were female (61.7%), and the majority (98.2%) had internet access at home. The internet was the most commonly used source of information (39.5%) and the most endorsed channel for a MERS awareness campaign. Physicians were the preferred source of information (45.6%), followed by other health care providers (31.3%). In univariate multinomial logistic regression models, males and individuals aged ≤27 years were more likely to seek information from the internet than from physicians. Residents of southern and western Riyadh preferred physicians as a credible source of information over the Ministry of Health. The results of this survey provide valuable information on how to reach this population and for understanding how to launch an effective MERS risk communication campaign in a Saudi population.
Chapter
Moscovici, S. (1984). The phenomenon of social representations. In R. Farr & S. Moscovici (Eds.), Social representations (pp. 3-69). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Article
ALCESTE - A Methodology of Textual Data Analysis and an Application: Aurélia by Gérard de Nerval. Beginning with a cross-tabulation with different all sentence fragments in rows and a selected vocabulary in columns for a specific corpus, the author presents: the methodology, including principle concepts and objectives of this form of analysis; the technique, the ALCESTE computer program of automatic classification based on resemblance or dissimilarity: and an application, the analysis of Gérard de Nerval's text Aurélia. The analysis distinguishes three types of fragments which are described and analyzed further.
Book
The publication in English of Serge Moscovici's Psychoanalysis, Its Image and Its Public (version of 1976 book in french) is an event of singular importance for social psychology. For the first time, English-speaking readers will have access to one of the most influential books published in the discipline in the past 30 years. Moscovici's development of the theory of social representations has long been recognised as a major contribution to social psychology, but discussion of the theory has been limited been by the unavailability in English of the text in which he provides his most extensive presentation of the theory and demonstrates its fecundity through his empirical study of representations of psychoanalysis in France. Psychoanalysis is in many ways the founding text of the theory of social representations and is, as such, a modern classic. As well as tracing the ways in which knowledge of psychoanalysis is transformed as it is reconstructed by different social groups in French society, Moscovici provides an extensive analysis of the representations of psychoanalysis within the mass media, showing how different interests structure such communication through the different forms of propaganda, propagation and diffusion. This book will be an indispensable text for students and scholars of social psychology. It will also be of interest to psychologists, sociologists and cultural theorists concerned with mass communication, and to all those with an interest in current perspectives in the social sciences.
Article
To understand the French public's response to the 2009 pandemic A/H1N1 influenza health threat a sequence analysis framework has been employed mobilising different theoretical strands such as innovations diffusion theory, surprise theory and social representation theory. These tend to suggest that disease episodes, public health policy and the public's response should be considered within a larger socio-cognitive frame incorporating representations anchored by prior disease episodes and campaigns. It is suggested in this article that the public's response was greatly influenced by the pervasive anchoring of the social representations of the pandemic threat to the 1918 Spanish flu in the lay and scientific media. These representations were eventually seen not to match the reality of the disease and consequently the French public did not panic during the 2009 pandemic. This hypothesis has been tested empirically by examining retrospective media, bibliographical data and an analysis of risk perception carried out through three cross-sectional studies prior to and during the pandemic episode and one month after the launch of the vaccination campaign. These findings suggest that alarmist framings of health threats may be counterproductive since they may reduce the capacity of public health organisations to mobilise the public in the case of more serious emerging disease.
Article
The theory of social representations occupies a place apart in social psychology both by the problems it raises and the scale of the phenomena with which it deals. This provokes many a criticism and misunderstanding. Such a theory may not correspond with the model of social psychology as it is defined at present. One attempts however to show that it answers important social and scientific questions, in what it differs from the classical conception of collective representations and, from the very beginning, adopts a constructivist perspective which has spread in social psychology since. Several trends of research have confirmed its vision of the relations between social and cognitive phenomena, communication and thought. More detailed remarks aim at outlining the nature of social representations, their capacity to create information, their function which is to familiarize us with the strange, according to the categories of our culture. Going farther, one insists on the diversity of methodological approaches. If the experimental method is useful to understand how people should think, higher mental and social processes must be approached by different methods, including linguistic analysis and observation of how people think. No doubt, social representations have a relation with the more recent field of social cognition. But inasmuch as the former depend on content and context, i.e. subjectivity and sociability of people, they approach the phenomena differently from the latter. Referring to child psychology and anthropology, one can contend, despite appearances, that it is also a more scientific approach. There is however much to be learned from criticisms and there is still a long way to go before we arrive at a satisfactory theory of social thinking and communication.
Article
Using the framework of social representations theory--more precisely the concepts of anchoring and objectification--this article analyses the emotions on which the media reporting on climate change draws. Emotions are thereby regarded as discursive phenomena. A qualitative analysis of two series in Swedish media on climate change, one in a tabloid newspaper and one in public service television news, is presented showing how the verbal and visual representations are attached to emotions of fear, hope, guilt, compassion and nostalgia. It is further argued that emotional representations of climate change may on the one hand enhance public engagement in the issue, but on the other hand may draw attention away from climate change as the abstract, long-term phenomenon of a statistical character that it is.
Article
Incl. Executive summary / résumé analytique / resúmen ejecutivo, bibliographical references
Article
Higher education is an influential sector with enormous potential to impact positively on health and sustainability. The purpose of this paper was to explore its emergent role as a key setting for promoting health and sustainability and for addressing their challenges in an integrated and coherent way. Acknowledging both the relative narrowness of the environmental focus that has to date characterized and driven universities' work in relation to sustainability and the demonstrable value of adopting a whole-system approach, this paper will explore the concept of 'Healthy Universities' as a means of furthering debate and facilitating synergy between public health, sustainable development and climate change. Higher education represents one large-scale sector with a unique combination of roles that can be harnessed to focus and mobilize its education, knowledge exchange, research, corporate responsibility and future shaping agendas to achieve significant impacts in this area. It is the growing commitment to embedding health and well-being within the mainstream business of higher education coupled with the expectation that universities will act sustainably in all that they do that provides the perfect springboard to influence a process of 'co-ordinated action' to address climate change and impact positively on the integrated health and sustainability agenda.
Article
This article examines how group representations can be used strategically to induce social change. The speeches delivered by Patrice Lumumba during the decolonization of the Belgian Congo were analysed using the content analysis software ALCESTE. Lumumba used radically different descriptions of Belgians and Congolese depending on the period during which the speech was delivered and on the audience he was addressing (Congolese or Belgian). When addressing Belgians, he described their countrymen as benevolent allies who could assist the development of Congo, and the Congolese as pacific and friendly. When addressing Congolese audiences, Belgians were described as oppressors, and Congolese as victims. In addition he emphasized the unity of the country more at the end of the decolonization process than at its onset. Considering that his nationalist and pan-African aims remained stable, we suggest that this variability stems from the different actions expected from his audiences, as a function of their group membership and the political context. We argue that this performative dimension cannot be captured if group representations, including stereotypes, are only viewed in cognitive terms. In addition, we show that they should be studied not only as justifications for the existing social order but also as instruments of social change.
Article
This paper examines the reporting of the story of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and its human derivative variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (vCJD) in the British newspapers. Three 'snapshots' of newspaper coverage are sampled and analysed between the period 1986 and 1996 focusing on how representations of the disease evolved over the 10-year period. Social representations theory is used to elucidate how this new disease threat was conceptualised in the newspaper reporting and how it was explained to the UK public. This paper examines who or what was said to be at risk from the new disease, and whether some individuals or groups held to blame for the diseases' putative origins, the appearance of vCJD in human beings, and its spread.
Article
The potential for a novel influenza virus to cause a pandemic represents a significant threat to global health. Planning for pandemic flu, as compared to planning for other types of hazards, presents some unique challenges to businesses, communities, and education institutions. To identify and address the challenges that may be faced by major metropolitan universities during a flu pandemic, a tabletop exercise was developed, offered, and evaluated. Its purpose was to assess existing University of Washington (UW) plans and policies for responding to an influenza pandemic. On May 31, 2006, more than 50 participants, including UW administrators and unit leaders and a number of key external partners, participated in a tabletop exercise designed to simulate all phases of an influenza pandemic. This exercise revealed existing gaps in university pandemic influenza plans and policies, including issues related to isolation and quarantine, continuity of operations, disaster mental health services, integration of volunteers into a disaster response, tracking travel of university students and personnel, communication problems, and ways to meet the needs of resident and foreign students and faculty during an outbreak. Policy and planning recommendations are offered that address each of these challenges faced by UW as well as other major research universities and colleges.
Europa se ha convertido en el epicentro de la pandemia del coronavirus
  • P Linde
Linde P. Europa se ha convertido en el epicentro de la pandemia del coronavirus. El País. 2020. Available at: https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-13/europa-se-ha-co nvertido-en-el-epicentro-de-la-pandemia-del-coronaviru s.html. Accessed: 24 December 2020.
Así evoluciona la curva del coronavirus en cada comunidad autónoma. La vanguardia
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Aragó L. Así evoluciona la curva del coronavirus en cada comunidad autónoma. La vanguardia. 2020. Available at: https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20200316/47418661574 0/evolucion-curva-coronavirus-por-comunidad-autonoma .html. Accessed: 24 December 2020.