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Psychological and behavioral responses to the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic: A comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.S.

Liu, J. J. ORCID: 0000-0002-6224-0216, Mukhopadhyay, A. & Yeung, C. W-M. (2022). Psychological and behavioral responses to the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic: A comparative study of Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.S.. PLoS One, 17(10), e0275854. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275854

Abstract

What is the effect of declaring a pandemic? This research assesses behavioral and psychological responses to the WHO declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.S. We surveyed 3,032 members of the general public in these three regions about the preventative actions they were taking and their worries related to COVID-19. The WHO announcement on March 11th, 2020 created a quasi-experimental test of responses immediately before versus after the announcement. The declaration of the pandemic increased worries about the capacity of the local healthcare system in each region, as well as the proportion of people engaging in preventative actions, including actions not recommended by medical professionals. The number of actions taken correlates positively with anxiety and worries. Declaring the COVID-19 crisis as a pandemic had tangible effects-positive (increased community engagement) and negative (increased generalized anxiety)-which manifested differently across regions in line with expectancy disconfirmation theory.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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