This is a very insightful article about a study on global attitudes surrounding COVID-19 and health messaging. It’s great to see that in most countries, “the vast majority of people are doing the right things, such as following government and health authority directives designed to limit the virus’s spread.” But it is concerning that the researchers were able to detect that “a fatigue is setting in,” and that 12-25% of people “are not self-isolating even if they believe or know they have contracted the virus.” (especially when considering this is from self reporting via a survey!)
A key takeaway from the study is that “one-size fits all” messages do not appear to be reaching everyone (if you are a member of this forum you probably know that already!), since people are motivated by different things (eg, economic, health, or social concerns). The team however did find that a certain type of messaging “encouraged cooperation the most.” Positively framed COVID messages that emphasize community solidarity and positive outcomes tended to be more effective than emphasizing the negative consequences of ignoring health recommendations.
Thanks for sharing this. I read through the article and find it interesting that the positive messaging was more effective in changing behaviour than the negative messaging. The example given for the negative messaging was that an elderly relative could get sick and die. You would think that this would be an effective message in the sense that there would be a strong emotional pull that would encourage behaviour change. This would also be consistent with the concept of loss framing. It's a bit confusing to me. Thoughts?