We investigated how perceived risk and protective behaviors changed as the coronavirus epidemic progressed. A longitudinal sample of 538 people responded to a COVID-19 risk perception questionnaire during the outbreak and post-epidemic periods. Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), we examined the mean level change of selected constructs and differences in their relationships. We tested a risk perception pathway in which affective attitude, informed by experience, shaped risk perceptions and protective behaviors. The model also postulated a social pathway in which cultural worldviews, like individualism and hierarchy, predicted risk perceptions and protective behaviors through social norms. Latent mean difference analyses revealed a decrease in social distancing behaviors and an increase in hygiene-cleanliness, corresponding to a reduction in risk perceptions and social norms and a rise in direct and indirect experience, while affective attitude remained substantially stable. Cross-sectional and longitudinal path analyses showed that affective risk perception, primarily informed by affective attitude, and social norms promoted behavior consistency regardless of epidemic contingencies. Instead, analytic risk perceptions were linked to protective behaviors only during the outbreak. Although risk perceptions dropped over time, analytic risk perceptions dropped more steeply than affective risk perceptions. Our findings supported the distinction between affective and deliberative processes in risk perception, reinforcing the view that affective reactions are needed to deploy analytic processes. Our study also supports the claim that perceived social norms are essential to understanding cultural worldview-related protective behaviors variability.

Risk perceptions and COVID-19 protective behaviors: A two-wave longitudinal study of epidemic and post-epidemic periods / Savadori, Lucia; Lauriola, Marco. - In: SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE. - ISSN 0277-9536. - 301:(2022), p. 114949. [10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114949]

Risk perceptions and COVID-19 protective behaviors: A two-wave longitudinal study of epidemic and post-epidemic periods

Savadori, Lucia;
2022-01-01

Abstract

We investigated how perceived risk and protective behaviors changed as the coronavirus epidemic progressed. A longitudinal sample of 538 people responded to a COVID-19 risk perception questionnaire during the outbreak and post-epidemic periods. Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), we examined the mean level change of selected constructs and differences in their relationships. We tested a risk perception pathway in which affective attitude, informed by experience, shaped risk perceptions and protective behaviors. The model also postulated a social pathway in which cultural worldviews, like individualism and hierarchy, predicted risk perceptions and protective behaviors through social norms. Latent mean difference analyses revealed a decrease in social distancing behaviors and an increase in hygiene-cleanliness, corresponding to a reduction in risk perceptions and social norms and a rise in direct and indirect experience, while affective attitude remained substantially stable. Cross-sectional and longitudinal path analyses showed that affective risk perception, primarily informed by affective attitude, and social norms promoted behavior consistency regardless of epidemic contingencies. Instead, analytic risk perceptions were linked to protective behaviors only during the outbreak. Although risk perceptions dropped over time, analytic risk perceptions dropped more steeply than affective risk perceptions. Our findings supported the distinction between affective and deliberative processes in risk perception, reinforcing the view that affective reactions are needed to deploy analytic processes. Our study also supports the claim that perceived social norms are essential to understanding cultural worldview-related protective behaviors variability.
2022
Savadori, Lucia; Lauriola, Marco
Risk perceptions and COVID-19 protective behaviors: A two-wave longitudinal study of epidemic and post-epidemic periods / Savadori, Lucia; Lauriola, Marco. - In: SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE. - ISSN 0277-9536. - 301:(2022), p. 114949. [10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114949]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/355541
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