Video: Social Influence in the Age of COVID

In order to address the issues surrounding COVID-19 and its collateral effects, Social Science Space is presenting free downloads of the book Together Apart: the Psychology of COVID-19. To download an uncorrected proof version of the book, click here.

Near what we now know to be the lengthy saga of the COVID-19 pandemic, four psychologists collaborating remotely put together the edited volume Together Apart: The Psychology of COVID-19 in record time for SAGE Publishing (which released the entire book for free download on Social Science Space in May).

Those authors –Jolanda Jetten, professor of social psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland; Stephen Reicher, Wardlaw Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews; S. Alexander Haslam, professor of psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland; and Tegan Cruwys, senior research fellow at the Australian National University – were working at warp speed for a serious academic endeavor.

Now, in the dawn of 2021, they are revisiting their work and that of their contributors in a series of seven videos in which they ask the academics behind the various chapters how their contributions have held up, how the analysis in the book has held up, and what they have learned since finishing up the book in March 2020.

In this first video, Haslam asks the authors of the section on “social influence” about their particular piece of the puzzle – Matthew Hornsey about conspiracy theories, Niklas Stevens on compliance, and Frank Mols about behavior change. The three, all researchers at the University of Queensland, were upbeat about their scholarship is a bit downbeat on many of the behaviors they’ve (correctly) predicted in the public.  

“The evidence that has comes out subsequently has reinforced the points rather than undermined them,” Haslam summarizes here, adding that if the researchers were writing the book today the biggest change would be that the avalanche of additional data likely supports and strengthens their views.

Further videos in the series will appear on Wednesdays for the next six weeks.

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