While many people have listened to messaging about wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, resistance remains.
A new study finds that appealing to people’s concerns for their loved ones could overcome this resistance. And it may have implications for encouraging people to mask up and get the new vaccine.
In a recent survey, people who said social distancing and COVID-safety guidelines violated their personal freedoms responded more positively to these ideas when they felt a loved one might be at risk of severe illness for COVID-19.
An and colleagues surveyed 1,074 people across the United States about their attitudes toward the coronavirus. They discovered two distinct sets of attitudes toward social distancing:
- Positive beliefs that largely mirror public health messaging
- Negative beliefs, including the idea that social distancing violates individual rights and freedoms
Concern about a loved one’s risk of severe COVID-19 infection was tied to both higher positive attitudes and lower negative attitudes toward social distancing. When people considered their own personal risk, they had higher positive attitudes but it did not impact their negative attitudes.
Release date: 18 December 2020
Source: Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan