Collectivism drives efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19

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Research from the University of Kent has found that people who adopt a collectivist mindset are more likely to comply with social distancing and hygiene practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

People who are more individualist are less likely to engage, partly due to beliefs in COVID-19 , and feelings of powerlessness surrounding the pandemic.

This study suggests the need for the UK Government and other to consider promoting collectivism amongst the , and to combat the spread of conspiracy theories and other types of misinformation. Doing so may increase levels of engagement in practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The research was led by Mikey Biddlestone alongside Ricky Green and Professor Karen Douglas at the University of Kent's School of Psychology. A total of 724 participants completed an online questionnaire addressing their actions relating to and hygiene measures, their individualist-collectivist mindset, feelings of powerlessness surrounding the pandemic, and their beliefs in COVID-19 conspiracy theories such as the idea that COVID-19 was made in a Chinese laboratory.

Mikey Biddlestone said: 'Interventions that focus on collective empowerment and champion a 'we are in this together' mentality could encourage people to comply with guidelines that will reduce the spread of COVID-19. Promoting collectivism could make a positive difference to future public health crises too, as leaders look to improve response strategies. A collectivist mindset might also make people less susceptible to conspiracy theories and misinformation that can negatively affect their behavior.'


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More information: Mikey Biddlestone et al, Cultural orientation, power, belief in conspiracy theories, and intentions to reduce the spread of COVID‐19, British Journal of Social Psychology (2020). DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12397
Provided by University of Kent
Citation: Collectivism drives efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (2020, June 29) retrieved 4 July 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-06-collectivism-efforts-covid-.html
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