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Behav Processes ; 205: 104817, 2023 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2209863


Behavioral economic demand models quantify the extent to which an organism defends its consumption of a commodity. Commodity purchase tasks permit humans a quick yet psychometrically sound approach to assessing commodity demand for various retail products. Operant behavioral economic literature suggests economy type (open vs closed) can significantly alter demand, yet this effect is largely undocumented in the commodity purchase task literature. In this study, we leveraged the market pressures for retail goods (hand lotion and sanitizer; paper towels and toilet paper; soda and water) resulting from SARS-CoV-2 into a natural experiment comparing within-subject demand across two time-points during the pandemic using a crowdsourced approach. Results suggest that hypothetical commodity purchase tasks are sensitive to extra-experimental market pressures (e.g., scarcity due to the closing of economies), adding additional confidence to the self-report nature of purchase task responding and providing further construct validity to these approaches.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Economics, Behavioral
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0258828, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638062


The role of human behavior to thwart transmission of infectious diseases like COVID-19 is evident. Psychological and behavioral science are key areas to understand decision-making processes underlying engagement in preventive health behaviors. Here we adapt well validated methods from behavioral economic discounting and demand frameworks to evaluate variables (e.g., delay, cost, probability) known to impact health behavior engagement. We examine the contribution of these mechanisms within a broader response class of behaviors reflecting adherence to public health recommendations made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four crowdsourced samples (total N = 1,366) completed individual experiments probing a response class including social (physical) distancing, facemask wearing, COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 vaccination. We also measure the extent to which choice architecture manipulations (e.g., framing, opt-in/opt-out) may promote (or discourage) behavior engagement. We find that people are more likely to socially distance when specified activities are framed as high risk, that facemask use during social interaction decreases systematically with greater social relationship, that describing delay until testing (rather than delay until results) increases testing likelihood, and that framing vaccine safety in a positive valence improves vaccine acceptance. These findings collectively emphasize the flexibility of methods from diverse areas of behavioral science for informing public health crisis management.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult