Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus emphasize the central role of citizens' compliance with self-protective behaviors. Understanding the processes underlying the decision to self-protect is therefore essential for effective risk communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the present study, we investigate the determinants of subjective expected risk perception (SERP) and engagement in self-protective measures in the UK, Italy, and Austria. A total of 547 participants took part in a 2 (Viral Disease: coronavirus vs seasonal flu) x 2 (Frame: positive/number of recovered vs negative/number of dead) between-subjects study. Participant’s cognitive and emotional risk assessment, self-reported engagement in protective behaviors and individual differences (e.g trait Emotional Intelligence, perceived knowledge about the disease, the policies and the self-protective behaviors etc.) were measured. Results show that worry for the disease, the public policies divulgated by the government and media communication on the disease (i.e. Worry) was the best predictor of SERP. Moreover, a path analysis revealed that Worry and SERP serially mediated engagement in self-protective behaviors. Specifically, higher Worry was associated to higher SERP and higher compliance with protective behaviors. Furthermore, a significant indirect effect of Viral Disease was found on engagement in self-protective behavior mediated by Worry and SERP. All the variables were higher in the coronavirus condition (vs seasonal flu). The Frame manipulation instead, did not have a significant impact on behavior, but a direct effect on Worry and an indirect effect on SERP mediated by Worry was found. Participant in the negative frame condition (vs positive frame) reported higher levels of Worry. Finally, a significant effect was found for individual differences in trait Emotional Intelligence and perceived knowledge.

Worry, Perceived Threat and Media Communication as Predictors of Self-Protective Behaviors During the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe / Vacondio, Martina.; Priolo, Giulia.; Dickert, Stephan.; Bonini, Nicolao. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - 12:577992:(2021). [10.3389/fpsyg.2021.577992]

Worry, Perceived Threat and Media Communication as Predictors of Self-Protective Behaviors During the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe

Priolo Giulia.;Bonini Nicolao
2021-01-01

Abstract

Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus emphasize the central role of citizens' compliance with self-protective behaviors. Understanding the processes underlying the decision to self-protect is therefore essential for effective risk communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the present study, we investigate the determinants of subjective expected risk perception (SERP) and engagement in self-protective measures in the UK, Italy, and Austria. A total of 547 participants took part in a 2 (Viral Disease: coronavirus vs seasonal flu) x 2 (Frame: positive/number of recovered vs negative/number of dead) between-subjects study. Participant’s cognitive and emotional risk assessment, self-reported engagement in protective behaviors and individual differences (e.g trait Emotional Intelligence, perceived knowledge about the disease, the policies and the self-protective behaviors etc.) were measured. Results show that worry for the disease, the public policies divulgated by the government and media communication on the disease (i.e. Worry) was the best predictor of SERP. Moreover, a path analysis revealed that Worry and SERP serially mediated engagement in self-protective behaviors. Specifically, higher Worry was associated to higher SERP and higher compliance with protective behaviors. Furthermore, a significant indirect effect of Viral Disease was found on engagement in self-protective behavior mediated by Worry and SERP. All the variables were higher in the coronavirus condition (vs seasonal flu). The Frame manipulation instead, did not have a significant impact on behavior, but a direct effect on Worry and an indirect effect on SERP mediated by Worry was found. Participant in the negative frame condition (vs positive frame) reported higher levels of Worry. Finally, a significant effect was found for individual differences in trait Emotional Intelligence and perceived knowledge.
2021
Vacondio, Martina.; Priolo, Giulia.; Dickert, Stephan.; Bonini, Nicolao
Worry, Perceived Threat and Media Communication as Predictors of Self-Protective Behaviors During the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe / Vacondio, Martina.; Priolo, Giulia.; Dickert, Stephan.; Bonini, Nicolao. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - 12:577992:(2021). [10.3389/fpsyg.2021.577992]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/320633
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