A Multi-Level Analysis of Social and Behavioral Responses to COVID-19

woman in mask

Funded by a RAPID award from the National Science Foundation, a team of PBS faculty members, Brian Lickel, Allecia Reid, Katherine Dixon-Gordon, and Ezra Markowitz (environmental conservation) will study the psychological and societal response the coronavirus epidemic. 

During the next year, the researchers will periodically survey a sample of 4,000 U.S. residents, examining their emotions and behavior related the outbreak and to the public health guidelines and mandates put in place to combat the epidemic. The research is testing hypotheses on four broad topics: personal and social responsibility, norms and social influence, coping and emotion regulation, and impacts of the outbreak on social cohesion and conflict. 

Additionally, the study will explore how people’s circumstances change throughout the year, paying attention to factors such as the severity of the outbreak in a person’s locality and on how financial and health impacts on people’s households affects their emotions and behavior. 

By studying people’s responses during the outbreak, the study will contribute new insight into the effectiveness of governmental and non-governmental efforts to respond effectively to the outbreak as well as testing basic psychological processes during this unprecedented societal crisis.

Read full abstract