‘I go to Gangnam with my friend’-This is a proverb that also applies to corona prevention. A study has shown that if people around you, such as family friends and acquaintances, strictly follow the corona prevention rules, you are likely to be affected and adhere to them.
According to a study conducted in collaboration with human behavior experts from France, Germany and the United States led by the University of Nottingham in the UK, compliance with the government’s quarantine policy was more dependent on the actions of friends than on individual decisions. “When the coronavirus first hit the UK in March last year, I was amazed at how different Europe and Asia responded to the pandemic,” said Dr. Bahar Tunigench, a department of psychology at the University of Notting who led the study. We started a global study to see how it works.” Western countries emphasized’individual’s right choice’, while Singapore, China, and Korea focused on’group’ as a unit. As a result, the latter strategy could reduce the damage.
The study, published in the British Journal of Psychology, highlights the blind spots in the policy response surrounding the pandemic. It is pointed out that it is necessary to include experts on human and social behavior when deciding on policy changes such as the extension of Corona Lockdown.
The research team investigated the role that social networks can play in preventing the spread of corona. We asked people from more than 100 countries how well they and those close to them comply with the quarantine regulations currently in effect in the region. As a result, the people who followed the quarantine guidelines most faithfully were those whose friends and family closely followed the quarantine guidelines. It is an analysis that the influence of people close to the pandemic works more than the confidence or determination of oneself. These findings were applied across all age groups, genders and countries.
“Public policy is going in the wrong direction,” said Professor Ophelia DeRoy of psychology and neuroscience at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, who participated in the study. Scientists and politicians only pay attention to gaining public support when implementing policies such as vaccination campaigns, lockdowns, and social distancing. However, citizens”approving’ and’compliance’ of these policies were different. The actual action was to see how close people behave and imitate it.
The research team emphasizes that human behavior research has several implications to increase the effectiveness of the corona-related policies that will continue in the future. For example, you could create a social app similar to a social-based exercise app that tells you if a close friend has signed up for vaccination. Instead of expressing my anger at people who don’t follow the rules through social media, showing my social media friends that I follow the precautionary rules is a way to further contribute to the fight against coronavirus. It is also possible to think of a way for a person trusted in a country or region to present a message emphasizing the values of loved ones and communities.
This is the conclusion of Dr. Tunegenchi. “Our message to policy makers is that even if the practice of’social distance’ is the goal,’social intimacy’ is ultimately the solution.”
Reporter Bohyun Lee [email protected]
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