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PANDRISK: Perceived risk and behaviour during a pandemic event  /

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Description: Descriptive study: We collected survey data (N= 4,083) from a representative sample of Norwegian citizens during the early phases of the pandemic (March 20-29, 2020). We find that most of the population considered the risk for being infected as small and more so for becoming seriously ill, but they worried that family members could become sick, and that their daily life could change drastically. Most were optimistic that they would handle the challenges of the virus, and that they would receive good medical treatment if they were to become sick. Almost all stated that they intended to follow the authorities’advice for how to limit the contagion, and that doing so would be effective in preventing them from getting sick and more so for preventing others from becoming sick. The population expressed a careful attitude in how they would gather information about the pandemic. All in all, the survey showed that the population had realistic perceptions of risks, optimistic attitudes and pro-social behavioural intentions related to the pandemic. Confirmatory study: Compliance to infection control measures may be influenced both by the fear of negative consequences of a pandemic, but also by the expectation to be able to handle the pandemic’s challenges. We performed a survey on a representative sample for Norway (n = 4,083) in the first weeks of the COVID-19 lock-down in March 2020. We had preregistered hypotheses to test the effect of optimism and perceived risk on compliance. Perceived risk had small effects on increasing compliance and on leading to more careful information gathering. The expected negative association between optimism and compliance was not supported, and there was instead a small positive association. We found a small effect that optimism was associated with seeing less risk from the pandemic and with a larger optimistic bias. Finally, an exploratory analysis showed that seeing the infection control measures as being effective in protecting others explained a substantial proportion of the variation in compliance. The study indicates that how we think about pandemic risk has complex and non-intuitive relationships with compliance. Instead, our beliefs and motivations toward infection control measures appears to be more important for compliance.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

Type: COVID-19

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w1 data (March 2020)


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Analysis for confirmatory study


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