Van Bavel, Jay J., Cichocka, Aleksandra, Boggio, Paulo S. and Borau, Sylvie (2022) National identity predicts public health support during a global pandemic. Nature Communications, vol. 13 (n° 517). pp. 1-14.

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Identification Number : 10.1038/s41467-021-27668-9


Changing collective behaviour and supporting non-pharmaceutical interventions is an important component in mitigating virus transmission during a pandemic. In a large international collaboration (Study 1, N = 49,968 across 67 countries), we investigated self-reported factors associated with public health behaviours (e.g., spatial distancing and stricter
hygiene) and endorsed public policy interventions (e.g., closing bars and restaurants) during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic (April-May 2020). Respondents who reported identifying more strongly with their nation consistently reported greater engagement in public health behaviours and support for public health policies. Results were similar for
representative and non-representative national samples. Study 2 (N = 42 countries) conceptually replicated the central finding using aggregate indices of national identity (obtained using the World Values Survey) and a measure of actual behaviour change during the pandemic (obtained from Google mobility reports). Higher levels of national identification prior to the pandemic predicted lower mobility during the early stage of the pandemic
(r = −0.40). We discuss the potential implications of links between national identity, leadership, and public health for managing COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: January 2022
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: London.
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 10:43
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 10:43
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