Coronavirus and SBS

Solo figure in parking lot

LSE Impact: Social Science in a Time of Social Distancing

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?

5 months ago
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How to Stay Connected in a Time of Physical Distancing

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.

5 months ago
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Links between myths and facts

Learn From COVID-19 Myths – Don’t Just Debunk Them

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.

5 months ago
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What the AIDS Response Can Teach Us for Addressing COVID

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.

5 months ago
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empty classroom

Coronavirus UK – Why Closing Schools is (Generally) a Bad Idea

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.

5 months ago
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Breaking Bad News: How to Talk With the Misinformed

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?

5 months ago
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Twixt Duck and Rabbit: Psychological Biases and Bad Coronavirus Policy

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.

5 months ago
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Working on laptop on couch

Coronavirus UK: Self-Isolation Must Not Mean Self-Imprisonment

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.

5 months ago
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