Corona behaviors … Why do some people not abide by the rules?
Thursday – 23 Dhu al-Hijjah 1441 AH – 13 August 2020 CE
One of the cafes in Christchurch, New Zealand (AP)
London: “Middle East Online”
The general isolation and social distancing measures applied around the world to curb the Coronavirus pandemic are reshaping life and legalizing activities that were once daily habits as well as introducing new social norms.
But there are always some people who don’t stick to the rules. Breaking the rules is not a new phenomenon, but behavioral scientists say that this is exacerbated in light of the Corona pandemic due to cultural, demographic and psychological factors that can make violators appear more selfish and dangerous, according to Reuters news agency.
The following are some questions and answers regarding the science of human behavior during the “Covid-19” pandemic:
* What causes some people to break the rules while others abide by them?
The main factor in this is individualism versus collectivism. “Some countries … tend to promote individualism, which is about expressing your sense of identity and who you are as an individual,” said Jay Van Pavel, associate professor of psychology at New York University.
People in individual cultures tend to reject the rules and ignore public health authorities’ attempts to “induce” behavior change through risk warning messages or calls for altruism and consideration for others.
“If you say, for example, that wearing a mask will help protect others, people in individual cultures don’t care much about that,” said Michael Sanders, an expert at the Institute of Politics at Kings College London. In group cultures, people are more likely to do what is best for the group.
Are confidence and fear important?
Yeah. These instincts and other instincts have a great influence on human behavior. In societies experiencing greater political division, it is unlikely that people will, for example, trust advice from one side or the other and also tend to form ‘with’ and ‘against’ camps.
Optimism and fear are also important. A little of both can be positive, but too much of either can do harm.
“In a situation like a pandemic, it (optimism) can lead you to a risky gamble,” Van Pavel said.
Why is social distancing difficult?
“We are truly social animals,” Van Pavel said. “Our bodies and minds are designed to communicate, and pandemic in many ways contradicts our instincts to communicate.” This is one of the causes of local outbreaks in bars and nightclubs or religious ceremonies, weddings and parties.
He added, “People have difficulty resisting this tendency to social and group contact.”
* If those who break the rules represent a minority, then why is that important?
Sanders said: “The problem is that in a massive collective problem like the one we are facing now, if everyone breaks the rules a little bit, it’s no different than not being followed by a lot of people at all.”
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