A psychiatrist’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argues that long Covid is psychosomatic. Steve Lubet asks why the writer is dictating to patients rather than listening to them.
David Canter considers how it is that people judge vaccination related risks so bizarrely.
It is the role of the social sciences and the humanities, on the basis of evidence, to affirm where official policy is in the public interest, but also to point to where it is not.
Clinical psychologist Tegan Cruwys discusses the concept of social connectedness and how being ‘together apart’ is both possible and crucial during the coronavirus pandemic.
In this hourlong webinar produced for the Federation of Associations of in Behavioral and Brains Sciences, or FABBS, Zewelanji “Zewe” […]
With a virus running rampant across the world, the value of a global perspective becomes obvious: We must remember to observe the nuances of cultural and […]
David Canter considers how disasters and tragedies can bring out the best in what it means to be human, and sometimes the worst.
“COVID has put a magnifying glass on existing inequalities,” says Jolanda Jetten, a professor of social psychology at the University of Queensland, “and it’s clear that the degree of suffering is unfairly on the shoulders of the poorer groups in societies, and also the poorest countries in this world.”
One of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, argues social psychologist S. Alex Haslam, are many traditional views of leadership. […]
In this 44-minute video, Stephen Reicher addresses what he sees as the two psychologies of COVID, working through the lens of social identity theory.
Our work in recent years has focused on how to prevent people from falling for misinformation in the first place, building on a framework from social psychology known as inoculation theory.
The saga of the UK’s contact tracing app(s) should be an object lesson in how not to approach the use of technology in public policy – and why politicians in particular need to step back and rethink their approach to technology, and in particular to privacy.
When it comes to COVID-19, we’re all in it together. That statement, while obvious, is not always how people react. […]
Near what we now know to be the lengthy saga of the COVID-19 pandemic, four psychologists collaborating remotely put together […]
David Canter considers what the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington tells us about the power inherent in a crowd.
Understanding how to create the conditions for a thriving civil society — that works in partnership with local governments and […]
David Canter considers why the social sciences failed to influence behavior in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. The virologists had been preparing for a new virus for some years, so were already ahead of the game when they had to start creating a new vaccine. What preparations had social psychologists, sociologists or anthropologists for the inevitable emergence of a new pandemic?
If there is one thing that has become abundantly clear through this pandemic it is that a pandemic, like so many of the other really big and pressing issues facing us such as structural racism or climate change, are not problems to be faced by one discipline or sector alone.
In an engaging and highly topical presentation viewable below, Trish Greenhalgh, professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of […]
Past research has shown that psychological factors such as an individual’s perception of risk and tendency towards risky behavior influence adherence to health behaviors. This is now being seen in the current pandemic.
An online seminar hosted by the NAS’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education featured a series of presentations on what can we do to lessen, reverse and even thrive in the face of changes wrought by the pandemic.
This guide of freely accessible research compiled from SAGE’s Coronavirus Research collection provides insight on what COVID-19 has revealed these past months and how we can utilize these lessons moving forward.
Robert Dingwall cites a short story from 1957 which highlights why the development of a vaccine needs to always keep an eye on its safety, no matter what the pressures are for its immediate release.
This panel, “How Can Social Statistics Help Us Fight COVID-19,” organized by the Campaign for Social Science and SAGE Publishing and held on September 21, featured three speakers giving their perspectives on the role of timely, appropriately representative, and reliable social statistics in informing the COVID-19 response and recovery planning.
The author of a new book on the response to the coronavirus tries first to understand how apparently sane people could think it made sense to implement damaging policies, and secondly asks how the public might ensure that such a disastrous episode can never happen again.
On October 9, a free online symposium will bring together social and behavioral science researchers in the United States whose work can inform public policies related to the pandemic with policymakers and public servants who are crafting and enacting legislation and other responses to COVID-19.
As the toll from the COVID-19 pandemic increased, polling suggests counter-intuitively that resistance to a future vaccine has also risen. Anthropologist Heidi J. Larson identified several likely drivers of this, including scientists themselves.
COVID-19 has devastated communities and economies around the world and profoundly changed the ways in which we live and work. […]
Hopefully, one day soon we will live in a world where COVID-19 does not dominate every aspect of our lives. […]
“Wearing a mask is a sign of respect.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, May 12th 2020 In the first chapter […]
For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the […]
This virus is dangerous. It exploits cracks between us. … Take as an example, ideology, or in one country it […]
Social distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a house large enough to practice it. Hand washing is […]
While hopes for a medical answer to the current COVID-19 remain strong, the reality is that social, behavioral and economic […]
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting nearly every area of household health, social, and economic well-being, individuals and communities across all […]
A disaster (which originally meant “ill-starred”, or “under a bad star”) changes the world and our view of it. Our […]
A traumatic event is one in which a person experiences a genuine fear of death or injury for themselves or […]
In order to reduce the spread of the virus and to protect vulnerable persons, it is strongly advised to reduce […]
They had been sentenced, for an unknown crime, to an indeterminate period of punishment. (Camus, 1947) As Albert Camus observed […]
Patient A1.1, who was then still experiencing mild respiratory symptoms, attended a birthday party with nine other people. They hugged […]
The biggest threat to the Territory is clear. It is not us, it’s them. Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan We live in […]
Without research in social, organizational, and behavioral sciences, argues John Haaga, as serious as the investment in biomedical research, the United States may be no better off when the next acute crisis hits.
The author’s team at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research has developed a free, user-friendly computer model that demonstrates how infections and deaths progress on a daily basis over a three-month period depending on how people behave in response to the outbreak.
Efforts to influence people loom large in a pandemic. In particular, there is a demand for effective leadership which explains […]
It is to get rid of non-productive Chinese in the Chinese community, who are non-productive and in the words of […]
On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement confirming that COVID-19 was a pandemic. WHO experts […]
COVID-19 has posed a significant challenge, with whole nations striving to coordinate their activities in response to the pandemic. In […]
Since COVID-19 first began spreading around the world, there have been myriad examples of leadership that has not only motivated […]
Editor’s Note: If you’re curious about the ways in which data visualization and graph use can generate impact with regard […]
Editor’s Note: If you’re curious about the ways in which data visualization and graph use can generate impact with regard […]
David Canter considers the emerging social science perspectives for controlling COVID-19
In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, anthropologists around the world have been preparing to utilize knowledge gained from past […]
As we write, at the start of May 2020, 4 million people have been infected with the COVID-19, over a […]
Plague was the concern of all of us…. Thus, for example, a feeling normally as individual as the ache of […]
We are frequently told that COVID-19 is the greatest challenge of our generation, and perhaps the largest global crisis since World War II. So, what do we know about how people behave in crises? And how can we apply that understanding to manage the current pandemic?
The way we are treated by the police tells us where we stand in society; if this treatment confirms the broader injustices to which our group has been subjected, then everything falls apart.
Pandemics inspire the most remarkable acts of unity and compassion (Solnit, 2009). They also lead to appalling acts of division […]
It is not surprising that in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, aside from infection fears, gatherings of people on beaches, public transport and in parks were met with concern and even alarm. Crowds are associated with trouble. But crowds can be both destructive and constructive forces.
In an excerpt from Together Apart, three officials with Public Health England argue that he consequences of shared identity, which have been shown to be so important in building an effective community response to the pandemic — the mutual trust, influence and support — are equally important when it comes to community–authority relations.
While the pandemic is different other emergencies, there are important similarities: there is a mortal threat which can create fear; there is not enough protection for everyone under threat; and human action can mitigate (or exacerbate) that threat.
Countries across the world have been turning to behavioral science in the fight against coronavirus. In May, The New Scientist proclaimed that ‘behavioral […]
Given the import of its subject matter, SAGE Publishing (the parent of Social Science Space) had agreed to make an e-book o the psychology of COVID-19 freely available.
The language of data visualisation has become commonplace, and data visualisations are widely used to communicate about the pandemic to the public. However, as Helen Kennedy observes, their power to influence the public is still little understood.
The “anti-lockdown” and #Reopen protests in the U.S. have powerful and secretive backers, but there are real Americans on the […]
Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic implies many painful losses. Among them are so-called “third places” – the restaurants, bars, […]
David Canter considers the social psychological processes that turn emergencies into disasters.
To help in decisions surrounding the effects and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the the journal ‘Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ offers this collection of articles as a free resource.
“You don’t have to go back many months,” says Hetan Shah, the chief executive of the British Academy, in this Social Science Bites podcast, “for a period when politicians were relatively dismissive of experts – and then suddenly we’ve seen a shift now to where they’ve moved very close to scientists. And generally that’s a very good thing.”
Scientists at the University of Amsterdam started two platforms. Data versus Corona and Strategies versus Corona, as part of a larger initiative to unite experts from different disciplines to join together in the fight against the coronavirus.
Under the threat of coronavirus, many universities took early initiative to empty their campuses and transition to online classroom spaces. […]
And so the British Academy has begun mobilizing its community of social scientists and humanities scholars to support the United Kingdom’s government and its populace as they fight the COVID pandemic today and deal with its impacts tomorrow.
Today we welcome two scholars from Texas’s Baylor University whose research into how pathogens affect innovation has taken on new prominence in the wake of the current pandemic.
This article, first published in the Monash Lens at Monash University, gathers input from a cross-disciplinary group of social and behavioral scientists and members of the humanities faculty at the Australian university.
Social and behavioral research suggests many ways to calm your anxiety and practice well-being during this time of many unknowns. SAGE Publishing, the parent of Social Science Space, has opened various resources to support not only your own emotional health, but also the health of those around you, such as your children, students, and colleagues.
Technological Considerations for Training Human Service Professionals in Light of COVID-19: Opportunity for Appropriation
The appropriate training of human service professionals in digital platforms — entailing retrospection, revisions, and appropriation of the curriculum and training frameworks with an emphasis on the integration of technology with practice — can ensure the quality of services to the clients during emergencies like COVID-19.
The World Health Organization’s Outbreak Communications Planning Guide suggests behavior changes can reduce the spread or a viral disease by as much as 80 percent. This can mean the difference between healthcare sectors being overwhelmed or continuing to function.
A lot of people have been posting on social media saying they have been feeling tired earlier than usual while […]
The answer for the kind of panicked flurry in reasoning we’re seeing during the COVID-19 pandemic may lie in a field of critical thinking called vice epistemology. This theory argues our thinking habits and intellectual character traits cause poor reasoning.
Staying socially connected in times of threat has benefits beyond helping us manage our mental well-being. Other people can provide us with practical support, like picking up groceries or passing on relevant information, as well as emotional support. This feeling is called social solidarity, and if we get it right we’ll be much better equipped to respond to this and other crises.
Michael Quinn Patton, a giant in the field of evaluation, has been getting queries from colleagues young and old, novice evaluators and long-time practitioners, asking how he’s making sense of the global health emergency and what I think the implications may be for evaluation. Her’s his take on where we are and what it means.
Research explains the relatively late behavioral reaction to the information of COVID-19 in Europe, writes Joan Costa-Font
Social science, argues Michael Taster of the LSE Impact blog, has an important role to play, by directly contributing to policy surrounding COVID-19 and its impacts, but also by acting as a critical friend, which raises the urgent question: how can this wealth of knowledge and expertise best be communicated?
Psychological scientists at the University of Washington’s Center for the Science of Social Connection draw from their clinical and research experiences help us understand the side effects of social distancing and suggest strategies for addressing them.
Although feeling anxiety in response to a threat is a normal human reaction, sustained high anxiety can undermine constructive responses to the crisis. The following suggestions, based on psychological science, can help you deal with coronavirus anxiety.
Instead of viewing rumors and myths as misperceptions that can be suppressed with accurate information, we should treat them as opportunities to understand — and respond to — the legitimate anxieties of the people who adopt and share them. In other words, we should look at them as valuable feedback that can help improve our own reporting and messaging.
The same technologies that people once blamed for tearing society apart might be our best chance of staying together during the COVID-19 outbreak, says Stanford’s Jamil Zaki.
The other day I went into Costco to buy some toilet paper. It came as a small shock when I […]
Toilet paper shortages, profiteering from hand sanitizer and empty shelves in grocery stores. Thanks to COVID-19, governments in most industrialized […]
The ways in which epidemics interact with human society suggest that much can be learned from previous epidemics. Drawing on the historical response to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, Donald Nicolson describes four parallels between the responses to these outbreaks and suggests what lessons can be learned by public health authorities responding to COVID-19.
School closures are widely seen as a quick fix for COVID-19 transmission. The UK government’s resistance to this measure has provoked considerable concern, including a petition to Parliament that has gathered over a half-million signatures at the time of writing. In practice, argues Robert Dingwall, the effects would mainly be risky for children and the consequences would other institutions’ efforts to work as normally as possible.
It’s also common to encounter people who are misinformed but don’t know it yet. It’s one thing to double-check your own information, but what’s the best way to talk to someone else about what they think is true – but which is not true?
Crises rarely see human decision-making operating at its best. Politicians and policymakers have to make important decisions in unfamiliar circumstances, with vast gaps in the available information, and all in the full glare of public scrutiny. The psychology of decision making doesn’t just tell us a lot about the potential pitfalls in our own thinking – it alerts us to ways in which some of the world’s governments may go astray.
The United Kingdom’s reputed the self-isolation proposal, and its attendant controversy about the alleged influence of social and behavioral scientists on the government’s approach, is a nice indicator of how limited the social science influence actually is – and why it needs to be greater.
David Canter considers what panic really is and why its main cause is … telling people not to panic.
The Italian government’s decision to expand its lockdown from two small areas of the north to encompass the entire country is a sign of its increasing desperation to control the spread of novel coronavirus. The number of positive cases by the evening of March 9 stood at at least 7,000 with more than 400 people having lost their lives. This has even been described as Italy’s “darkest hour” by Giuseppe Conte, the country’s prime minister.
As a social scientist in globalization studies, I am interested in the role some of the less visible layers of globalization — such as awareness of our connections with the lives of people elsewhere — have in shaping our responses, including emotional responses, to global threats, like this one and those to come…