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1.
Span J Psychol ; 24: e13, 2021 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096600

ABSTRACT

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the consequences of conspiracy theories and the COVID-19 pandemic raised this interest to another level. In this article, I will outline what we know about the consequences of conspiracy theories for individuals, groups, and society, arguing that they are certainly not harmless. In particular, research suggests that conspiracy theories are associated with political apathy, support for non-normative political action, climate denial, vaccine refusal, prejudice, crime, violence, disengagement in the workplace, and reluctance to adhere to COVID-19 recommendations. In this article, I will also discuss the challenges of dealing with the negative consequences of conspiracy theories, which present some opportunities for future research.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Health Behavior , Politics , Prejudice , Vaccination Refusal , Apathy , Attitude , Climate Change , Crime , Culture , Denial, Psychological , Guideline Adherence , Humans , Personnel Loyalty , SARS-CoV-2 , Violence
2.
Australian Journal of Political Science ; : 1-16, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-2037187

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic supercharged the spread of fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories worldwide. Using a national probability sample of adults from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study during 2020 (17–99 years old;M = 48.59, SD = 13.86;63% women, 37% men;N = 41,487), we examined the associations between agreement with general conspiracy beliefs and political indicators of intention to vote and satisfaction with government, alongside political factors including trust in politicians, political efficacy, identity centrality, and political ideology. Left-wing political ideology, trust in politicians, and political efficacy accounted for most of the explained variance in satisfaction with the government. General conspiracy belief was also a unique contributor to lower satisfaction with the government. We also found a curvilinear relationship between political ideology with heightened belief in conspiracies at both ideological extremes and the centre. Findings are discussed in terms of the consequences of conspiracy belief on democratic engagement. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Australian Journal of Political Science is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

4.
Med J Aust ; 216(8): 381-384, 2022 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1791968

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans
5.
Psychol Med ; 52(4): 791-793, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764097

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans
6.
Prev Med Rep ; 27: 101764, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747639

ABSTRACT

Anxiety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and home confinement has been associated with adverse health behaviors, such as unhealthy eating, smoking, and drinking. However, most studies have been limited by regional sampling, which precludes the examination of behavioral consequences associated with the pandemic at a global level. Further, few studies operationalized pandemic-related stressors to enable the investigation of the impact of different types of stressors on health outcomes. This study examined the association between perceived risk of COVID-19 infection and economic burden of COVID-19 with health-promoting and health-damaging behaviors using data from the PsyCorona Study: an international, longitudinal online study of psychological and behavioral correlates of COVID-19. Analyses utilized data from 7,402 participants from 86 countries across three waves of assessment between May 16 and June 13, 2020. Participants completed self-report measures of COVID-19 infection risk, COVID-19-related economic burden, physical exercise, diet quality, cigarette smoking, sleep quality, and binge drinking. Multilevel structural equation modeling analyses showed that across three time points, perceived economic burden was associated with reduced diet quality and sleep quality, as well as increased smoking. Diet quality and sleep quality were lowest among respondents who perceived high COVID-19 infection risk combined with high economic burden. Neither binge drinking nor exercise were associated with perceived COVID-19 infection risk, economic burden, or their interaction. Findings point to the value of developing interventions to address COVID-related stressors, which have an impact on health behaviors that, in turn, may influence vulnerability to COVID-19 and other health outcomes.

7.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 3824, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735265

ABSTRACT

The present paper examines longitudinally how subjective perceptions about COVID-19, one's community, and the government predict adherence to public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Using an international survey (N = 3040), we test how infection risk perception, trust in the governmental response and communications about COVID-19, conspiracy beliefs, social norms on distancing, tightness of culture, and community punishment predict various containment-related attitudes and behavior. Autoregressive analyses indicate that, at the personal level, personal hygiene behavior was predicted by personal infection risk perception. At social level, social distancing behaviors such as abstaining from face-to-face contact were predicted by perceived social norms. Support for behavioral mandates was predicted by confidence in the government and cultural tightness, whereas support for anti-lockdown protests was predicted by (lower) perceived clarity of communication about the virus. Results are discussed in light of policy implications and creating effective interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence , Health Behavior , Public Health , Attitude , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Norms , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Patterns (N Y) ; 3(4): 100482, 2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730022

ABSTRACT

Before vaccines for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became available, a set of infection-prevention behaviors constituted the primary means to mitigate the virus spread. Our study aimed to identify important predictors of this set of behaviors. Whereas social and health psychological theories suggest a limited set of predictors, machine-learning analyses can identify correlates from a larger pool of candidate predictors. We used random forests to rank 115 candidate correlates of infection-prevention behavior in 56,072 participants across 28 countries, administered in March to May 2020. The machine-learning model predicted 52% of the variance in infection-prevention behavior in a separate test sample-exceeding the performance of psychological models of health behavior. Results indicated the two most important predictors related to individual-level injunctive norms. Illustrating how data-driven methods can complement theory, some of the most important predictors were not derived from theories of health behavior-and some theoretically derived predictors were relatively unimportant.

9.
Health Commun ; : 1-10, 2022 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655861

ABSTRACT

Understanding the determinants of COVID-19 vaccine uptake is important to inform policy decisions and plan vaccination campaigns. The aims of this research were to: (1) explore the individual- and country-level determinants of intentions to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, and (2) examine worldwide variation in vaccination intentions. This cross-sectional online survey was conducted during the first wave of the pandemic, involving 6697 respondents across 20 countries. Results showed that 72.9% of participants reported positive intentions to be vaccinated against COVID-19, whereas 16.8% were undecided, and 10.3% reported they would not be vaccinated. At the individual level, prosociality was a significant positive predictor of vaccination intentions, whereas generic beliefs in conspiracy theories and religiosity were negative predictors. Country-level determinants, including cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism and power distance, were not significant predictors of vaccination intentions. Altogether, this study identifies individual-level predictors that are common across multiple countries, provides further evidence on the importance of combating conspiracy theories, involving religious institutions in vaccination campaigns, and stimulating prosocial motives to encourage vaccine uptake.

10.
Curr Res Ecol Soc Psychol ; 3: 100028, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560426

ABSTRACT

Tightening social norms is thought to be adaptive for dealing with collective threat yet it may have negative consequences for increasing prejudice. The present research investigated the role of desire for cultural tightness, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, in increasing negative attitudes towards immigrants. We used participant-level data from 41 countries (N = 55,015) collected as part of the PsyCorona project, a cross-national longitudinal study on responses to COVID-19. Our predictions were tested through multilevel and SEM models, treating participants as nested within countries. Results showed that people's concern with COVID-19 threat was related to greater desire for tightness which, in turn, was linked to more negative attitudes towards immigrants. These findings were followed up with a longitudinal model (N = 2,349) which also showed that people's heightened concern with COVID-19 in an earlier stage of the pandemic was associated with an increase in their desire for tightness and negative attitudes towards immigrants later in time. Our findings offer insight into the trade-offs that tightening social norms under collective threat has for human groups.

11.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0256740, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477523

ABSTRACT

During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. conservative politicians and the media downplayed the risk of both contracting COVID-19 and the effectiveness of recommended health behaviors. Health behavior theories suggest perceived vulnerability to a health threat and perceived effectiveness of recommended health-protective behaviors determine motivation to follow recommendations. Accordingly, we predicted that-as a result of politicization of the pandemic-politically conservative Americans would be less likely to enact recommended health-protective behaviors. In two longitudinal studies of U.S. residents, political conservatism was inversely associated with perceived health risk and adoption of health-protective behaviors over time. The effects of political orientation on health-protective behaviors were mediated by perceived risk of infection, perceived severity of infection, and perceived effectiveness of the health-protective behaviors. In a global cross-national analysis, effects were stronger in the U.S. (N = 10,923) than in an international sample (total N = 51,986), highlighting the increased and overt politicization of health behaviors in the U.S.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Behavior , Motivation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Politics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged
12.
J Community Appl Soc Psychol ; 32(2): 332-347, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460153

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. Consequently, many countries have adopted restrictive measures that caused a substantial change in society. Within this framework, it is reasonable to suppose that a sentiment of societal discontent, defined as generalized concern about the precarious state of society, has arisen. Literature shows that collectively experienced situations can motivate people to help each other. Since societal discontent is conceptualized as a collective phenomenon, we argue that it could influence intention to help others, particularly those who suffer from coronavirus. Thus, in the present study, we aimed (a) to explore the relationship between societal discontent and intention to help at the individual level and (b) to investigate a possible moderating effect of societal discontent at the country level on this relationship. To fulfil our purposes, we used data collected in 42 countries (N = 61,734) from the PsyCorona Survey, a cross-national longitudinal study. Results of multilevel analysis showed that, when societal discontent is experienced by the entire community, individuals dissatisfied with society are more prone to help others. Testing the model with longitudinal data (N = 3,817) confirmed our results. Implications for those findings are discussed in relation to crisis management. Please refer to the Supplementary Material section to find this article's Community and Social Impact Statement.

13.
Pers Soc Psychol Bull ; 48(9): 1315-1330, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374040

ABSTRACT

We examine how social contacts and feelings of solidarity shape experiences of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020. From the PsyCorona database, we obtained longitudinal data from 23 countries, collected between March and May 2020. The results demonstrated that although online contacts help to reduce feelings of loneliness, people who feel more lonely are less likely to use that strategy. Solidarity played only a small role in shaping feelings of loneliness during lockdown. Thus, it seems we must look beyond the current focus on online contact and solidarity to help people address feelings of loneliness during lockdown. Finally, online contacts did not function as a substitute for face-to-face contacts outside the home-in fact, more frequent online contact in earlier weeks predicted more frequent face-to-face contacts in later weeks. As such, this work provides relevant insights into how individuals manage the impact of restrictions on their social lives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Loneliness , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
14.
J Appl Soc Psychol ; 51(7): 720-729, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247219

ABSTRACT

Research suggests that emerging information about infection-acquired COVID-19 immunity should be interpreted with caution. The introduction of "immunity passports" that would enable people who have recovered from COVID-19 to travel freely and return to work may therefore have detrimental consequences if not managed carefully. In two studies, we examined how perceived (suspected or imagined) recovery from COVID-19, and the concept of immunity passports, influence people's intentions to engage in behaviors aimed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We also consider ways to lessen potential negative effects. In Study 1 (N = 1604), participants asked to imagine that they had recovered from COVID-19 reported lower social distancing intentions compared to a control condition. Participants who suspected (versus imagined) that they had recovered from past infection did not report lower preventative intentions compared to the control condition, even at high levels of certainty of past infection. In Study 2 (N = 1732), introducing the idea of immunity passports also reduced social distancing intentions compared to a control condition. The latter effect was, however, attenuated when cautious information about the equivocal science on COVID-19 was also presented to participants. Participants who suspected that they had COVID-19 in the past (compared to the control condition) revealed a similar pattern of results, but only at higher levels of certainty of past infection. Caution regarding infection-acquired COVID-19 immunity and immunity passports will be crucial in the COVID-19 response. Implications for premature pandemic announcements, as well as their potential remedies, are discussed.

15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9669, 2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219752

ABSTRACT

This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N = 25,435). The main predictors were (1) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (2) perceived risk to suffer economic losses due to coronavirus, and (3) their interaction effect. Individual and country-level variables were added as covariates in multilevel regression models. We examined compliance with various preventive health behaviors and support for strict containment policies. Results show that perceived economic risk consistently predicted mitigation behavior and policy support-and its effects were positive. Perceived health risk had mixed effects. Only two significant interactions between health and economic risk were identified-both positive.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Employment , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Health Behavior , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perception , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Work
16.
Br J Soc Psychol ; 59(3): 663-673, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614943

ABSTRACT

The current study investigated cultural and psychological factors associated with intentions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Participants (n = 704) completed measures of individualism-collectivism, belief in conspiracy theories about COVID-19, feelings of powerlessness, and intentions to engage in behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Results revealed that vertical individualism negatively predicted intentions to engage in social distancing, directly and indirectly through both belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories and feelings of powerlessness. Vertical collectivism positively predicted social distancing intentions directly. Horizontal collectivism positively predicted social distancing intentions indirectly through feelings of powerlessness. Finally, horizontal collectivism positively predicted hygiene-related intentions both directly and indirectly through lower feelings of powerlessness. These findings suggest that promoting collectivism may be a way to increase engagement with efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. They also highlight the importance of examining the interplay between culture and both personal feelings (powerlessness) and information consumption (conspiracy theories) during times of crisis.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Intention , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Power, Psychological , Risk Reduction Behavior , Adult , Attitude to Health , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Culture , Female , Humans , Hygiene , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Opinion , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Concept , Surveys and Questionnaires
17.
Nat Hum Behav ; 4(5): 460-471, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-152247

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. Here we discuss evidence from a selection of research topics relevant to pandemics, including work on navigating threats, social and cultural influences on behaviour, science communication, moral decision-making, leadership, and stress and coping. In each section, we note the nature and quality of prior research, including uncertainty and unsettled issues. We identify several insights for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Human Activities , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , Adaptation, Psychological , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Decision Making , Epidemiological Monitoring , Global Health , Humans , Leadership , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , Stress, Psychological
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