This study suggests promoting collectivism to increase engagement with efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
By surveying more than 700 people about their views on individualism and collectivism, belief in conspiracy theories about COVID-19, feelings of powerlessness, and intentions to engage in behaviors to reduce the spread of COVID-19, researchers were able to determine collectivism positively predicted intentions to engage in recommended behaviors. Individualism, on the other hand, predicted lower intentions to engage in preventive behaviors. Additionally, findings revealed the importance of assessing the interplay between culture and both personal feelings (powerlessness) and information consumption (conspiracy theories) during times of crisis. Collectivism encourages a powerful response and individualism reduces that sense of power, which is often replaced with potentially harmful conspiracy theories. Clearly communicating that “we are all in this together” may be the most persuasive message for this pandemic.