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May 6, 2020

Scientists look at perceptions & behaviors, part 1

This national study will assess the perceptions and behaviors of more than 6,000 Americans at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, examining national responses to an ongoing public health crisis as it unfolds. Surveys of a representative sample of Americans will cover risk perceptions, fears, media use, health protective behaviors, and distress surrounding the outbreak. Among other things, the researchers will examine how widespread media coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak is associated with acute stress responses to the threat, its success (or failure) in affording people the information needed to understand the threat, and how cognitive and affective processes shape risk assessments, behavioral responses, and mental health outcomes. This project is unique in studying the effects of risk perceptions, health protective behaviors, and acute stress on adjustment as an ambiguous global health threat is happening.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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