The PsyCorona project focuses on the identification of psychological and cultural factors, combined with different governmental containment measures, that may predict differences in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The fast-spreading coronavirus prompted many countries into lockdowns and various social mitigation measures, some of which may be required for years.
Need for the study
Social distancing is a collective behavioral strategy against the virus spread, but societies face challenges to its success. Culturally, the sense of solidarity, responsibility, and self-control that is required for effective social mitigation shall prove difficult in most Western societies. To generate actionable knowledge about the impact and effectiveness of social mitigation measures, a globally-focused research initiative is required to study both the immediate and continuous impact of regional virus and policy conditions, as well as changes across time and shifting circumstance.
In March 2020, scientists at the University of Groningen and New York University – Abu Dhabi realized the urgent need to study the psychosocial dynamics underlying individual government policy adherence versus frustration, fatigue, and the reassertion of individual freedom. The “PsyCorona” study was launched on March 19th to assess human and virus behavior and cognitions in 60,000+ participants around the globe, with help from 100+ behavioral and data scientists across 5 continents.
Research objectives and overview
The ultimate goal of the study is to provide actionable knowledge on how to enhance policies for optimizing pandemic response. PsyCorona combines psychological theories of motivation, stress, coping, threat, and culture, into a “3 – phase” study involving an initial cross-sectional survey, longitudinal follow-ups, and integration of virus-relevant databases
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