SciBeh-Topic-Visualization

intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive

Topic 23

intention behavior message guideline preventive trust predictor compliance norm self prevention reason avoidance engagement gender

The effectiveness of moral messages on public health behavioral intentions during the COVID-19 pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening millions of lives, changing our behaviors to prevent the spread of the disease is a moral imperative. Here, we investigated the persuasiveness of messages inspired by three major moral traditions. A sample of US participants representative for age, sex and race/ethnicity (N=1032) viewed messages from either a leader or citizen containing deontological, virtue-based, utilitarian, or non-moral justifications for adopting social distancing behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We measured the messages’ effects on participants’ self-reported intentions to wash hands, avoid social gatherings, self-isolate, and share health messages, as well as their beliefs about others’ intentions, impressions of the messenger’s morality and trustworthiness, and beliefs about personal control and responsibility for preventing the spread of disease. Consistent with our pre-registered predictions, compared to non-moral control messages, deontological arguments had a modest effect on intentions to share the message. Message source (leader vs. citizen) did not moderate any of the observed effects of message type. A majority of participants predicted the utilitarian message would be most effective, but we found no evidence that the utilitarian message was effective in changing intentions or beliefs. We caution that our findings require confirmation in replication studies and are modest in size, likely due to ceiling effects on our measures of behavioral intentions and strong heterogeneity across all dependent measures along several demographic dimensions including age, self-identified gender, self-identified race, political conservatism, and religiosity. Although we found no evidence that the utilitarian message was effective in changing intentions and beliefs, exploratory analyses showed that individual differences in one key dimension of utilitarianism—impartial concern for the greater good—were strongly and positively associated with public health intentions and beliefs. Overall, our preliminary results suggest that public health messaging focused on duties and responsibilities toward family, friends and fellow citizens is a promising approach for future studies of interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the US. Ongoing work is investigating the reproducibility and generalizability of our findings across different populations, what aspects of deontological messages may drive their persuasive effects, and how such messages can be most effectively delivered across global populations.
covid-19
usa
effectiveness
behavior
study
message
vaccination, adherence, hesitancy, uptake, sectional
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Intentions to comply with COVID-19 preventive behaviors are associated with personal beliefs, independent of perceived social norms

Social norms can be an effective way to promote public health and encourage healthy behaviors among individuals. The global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted health officials to call for new behavioral norms to help prevent the disease’s spread, for example “social distancing” measures. Yet whether people actually intend to engage in these behaviors
covid-19
compliance
social distancing
prevention
behavior
social norms
ignorance
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Information about herd immunity and empathy promote COVID-19 vaccination intentions

Objective: An effective vaccine against COVID-19 is a desired solution to curb the spread of the disease. However, vaccine hesitancy might hinder high uptake rates and thus undermine efforts to eliminate COVID-19 once an effective vaccine is available. The present contribution addresses this issue by examining two promising ways of increasing the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Methods: We conducted two pre-registered online studies (N = 2,315 participants from the UK) in which we either measured (Study 1) or manipulated (Study 2) knowledge about and beliefs in herd immunity, as well as empathy for those most vulnerable to the virus. As a dependent variable, we assessed individuals’ self-reported vaccination intention if a vaccine against COVID-19 became available. Results: We show that the motivation to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is related to and causally promoted by both mere information about herd immunity and by empathy. Thus, interventions that combine cognitive and affective information related to others’ potential suffering appear most effective in increasing the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Conclusions: The present research provides a better understanding of the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and highlights two evidence-based possibilities for policymakers in promoting vaccine uptake.
covid-19
empathy
herd immunity
policy maker
vaccination, adherence, hesitancy, uptake, sectional
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Emotional responses to prosocial messages increase willingness to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic may be one of the greatest modern societal challenges that requires widespread collective action and cooperation. While a handful of actions can help reduce pathogen transmission, the most critical behavior is to self-isolate. But what types of public health messages can aid compliance with such extreme social distancing measures? Public health messages designed to facilitate compliance have often used emotional language, ranging from negative fear appeals (e.g., millions of people will die) to positive prosocial appeals (e.g., everyone’s actions help society). Understanding how these types of messages tap into the different dimensions of emotion—a mechanism documented in other domains to be an essential component of behavior change—is critical for creating successful public health campaigns related to COVID-19. In a U.S. representative sample (N = 955), we presented two messages that leveraged either fear or prosocial language, and asked participants to report their emotional reactions and their willingness to self-isolate. While results show that both types of interventions increased willingness to self-isolate (Cohen’s d = .41), compared to the fear message, the success of the prosocial message was more dependent on the magnitude of emotional response on both the arousal and valence dimensions. Our results suggest that prosocial interventions have the potential to be associated with greater compliance if they evoke highly positive emotional responses.
covid-19
communication
compliance
public health
intervention
emotion
quarentine
fear
self-isolation
reaction
prosocial
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Social, Cognitive, and Emotional Predictors of Adherence to Physical Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Objectives. To identify targetable psychosocial predictors of adherence to physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods. Using a cross-sectional sample (N = 1003) representative of the population in terms of age, gender, and urbanicity in Quebec, Canada, we examined social, cognitive, and emotional predictors of adherence to physical distancing. Data was collected from April 7th to 15th, 2020. Results. Individuals were more likely to report adhering to physical distancing if they believed it is their civic duty to adhere (injunctive personal norms), that physical distancing will benefit others and the broader crisis (perceived benefits for others), and if they perceive that other people are following these directives (descriptive social norms). In contrast, perceived personal risk and emotional factors were not significantly related to physical distancing. Moderation analyses revealed unique predictors depending on health risk status, essential workers status, and urbanicity. Conclusions. These results highlight the importance of health beliefs and perceived social norms in shaping responses to physical distancing directives, and offer insights into ways to frame public health communications for different segments of the population.
covid-19
communication
belief
health
social norm
behavior
canada
study
physical distancing
change
adherence
psychosocial
stress, psychological, emotion, depressive, cope
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Why is right-wing media consumption associated with lower compliance with COVID-19 measures?

Exposure to right-wing media has been shown to relate to lower perceived threat from COVID-19, lower compliance with prophylactic measures against it, and higher incidence of infection and death. What features of right-wing media messages account for these effects? In a preregistered cross-sectional study (N = 554) we test a model that differentiates perceived consequences of two CDC recommendations—washing hands and staying home—for basic human values. People who consumed more right-wing media perceived these behaviors as less beneficial for their personal security, for the well-being of close ones, and the well-being of society at large. Perceived consequences of following the CDC recommendations mediated the relationship between media consumption and compliance with recommendations. Implications for public health messaging are discussed.
covid-19
compliance
media
right-wing
political ideology
news, misinformation, internet, medium, fake
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Who’s Listening? Predictors of Concern about COVID-19 and Preventative Health Behaviors

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly across the globe. Based on recommendations from health organizations, many individuals have made significant changes to their daily lives to prevent the spread of the disease. OBJECTIVE/METHOD: This study sought to identify demographic and psychosocial factors associated with concern about COVID-19 and engagement in preventative health behaviors suggested to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 (social distancing, handwashing, cleaning/disinfecting, avoiding touching face, and wearing facemasks). From March 20 to 23, 2020, a US national sample (N=1019) completed an online survey. RESULTS: Recent illness, religiosity, germ aversion, and pathogen disgust sensitivity were the most consistent predictors of COVID-19 concern and preventative health behaviors. CONCLUSION: Findings have implications for the development of interventions intended to increase preventative health behaviors.
covid-19
social distancing
transmission
health
prevention
media
behavior
prosocial behavior
news
demographics
disease
reduction
religion
infection-avoidance
pathogen
personality
social psychology
political ideology
psychosocial
vaccination, adherence, hesitancy, uptake, sectional
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
What Beliefs are Associated with COVID Vaccination Intentions? Implications for Campaign Planning

COVID vaccination intentions vary among the US population. We report the results of a nationally representative survey undertaken in July 2020 (N=889) that examined the association of six vaccine-specific beliefs with intentions to vaccinate. We find that four of the six beliefs have substantial associations with intention (Gammas between .60 and .77), that the associations mostly do not vary with gender, age, race/ethnicity, or misinformation (even though intentions do vary with each of those variables). Also, once adjusted for the vaccine-specific beliefs, level of misinformation is not related to intentions. We consider the implications of these results and argue both that persuasive campaigns can be informed by these specific results, and given rapid changes in vaccine availability, that there is a substantial need for elaborated and repeated follow-up
covid-19
vaccine
misinformation
belief
campaign
intention
implication
social and behavioral science
vaccination, adherence, hesitancy, uptake, sectional
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
The Effect of Information Behavior in Media on Perceived and Actual Knowledge about the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a global health threat that has dominated media coverage. However, not much is known about how individuals use media to acquire knowledge about COVID-19 under conditions of perceived threat. To address this, this study investigated how perceived threat affects media use (i.e., media volume and media breadth), and how media use in turn affects perceived and actual knowledge about COVID-19. In a German online survey, N = 952 participants provided information on their perceived threat and their media use to inform themselves about COVID-19. They further indicated how well they are informed about COVID-19 (perceived knowledge) and completed a COVID-19 knowledge test (actual knowledge). The results indicated that individuals who felt more threatened by COVID-19 used media more often to inform themselves (i.e., media volume), but focused on less different media channels (i.e., media breadth). Higher media volume was associated with higher perceived knowledge, but not with higher actual knowledge about COVID-19. Further, exploratory analyses revealed that perceived threat was linked to perceived knowledge, but not to actual knowledge. The association of perceived threat and perceived knowledge was mediated by increased media volume. Finally, a smaller media breadth was linked to higher perceived and actual knowledge.
covid-19
behavioral science
risk perception
survey
information
knowledge
news, misinformation, internet, medium, fake
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive
Moral values and trait pathogen disgust predict compliance with official recommendations regarding COVID-19 pandemic in US samples

Emergency situations require individuals to make important changes in their behavior. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, official recommendations to slow the spread of the virus include costly behaviors such as self-quarantining, which individuals might be reluctant to adopt. However, whether or not people adopt those behaviors could make a huge difference in the impact of the pandemic. In this context, it is important to elucidate what psychological traits underlie people’s (lack of) compliance with official recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. In three exploratory studies and one preregistered replication in a representative sample of US participants, we found converging evidence that compliance with official recommendations is not related to epistemic attitudes such as beliefs in conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, fear, or psychological reactance. Instead, participants’ behavioral intentions were predicted by their (1) disgust towards pathogens, and (2) moral values regarding the importance of caring about others.
covid-19
compliance
usa
conspiracy theory
transmission
prediction
recommendation
morality
psychology
spread
impact
emotion
quarentine
behavioral change
pathogen
norms
compassion
moral, belief, conspiracy, personality, trait
intention, behavior, message, guideline, preventive