Lammers, Joris ORCID: 0000-0002-2647-121X, Crusius, Jan ORCID: 0000-0002-9403-6084 and Gast, Anne (2020). Correcting misperceptions of exponential coronavirus growth increases support for social distancing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 117 (28). S. 16264 - 16267. WASHINGTON: NATL ACAD SCIENCES. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

The most effective way to stem the spread of a pandemic such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is social distancing, but the introduction of such measures is hampered by the fact that a size-able part of the population fails to see their need. Three studies conducted during the mass spreading of the virus in the United States toward the end of March 2020 show that this results par-tially from people's misperception of the virus's exponential growth in linear terms and that overcoming this bias increases support for social distancing. Study 1 shows that American partic-ipants mistakenly perceive the virus's exponential growth in linear terms (conservatives more so than liberals). Studies 2 and 3 show that instructing people to avoid the exponential growth bias sig-nificantly increases perceptions of the virus's growth and thereby increases support for social distancing. Together, these results show the importance of statistical literacy to recruit support for fighting pandemics such as the coronavirus.

Item Type: Journal Article
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Lammers, JorisUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-2647-121XUNSPECIFIED
Crusius, JanUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-9403-6084UNSPECIFIED
Gast, AnneUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-326394
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2006048117
Journal or Publication Title: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.
Volume: 117
Number: 28
Page Range: S. 16264 - 16267
Date: 2020
Publisher: NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Place of Publication: WASHINGTON
ISSN: 0027-8424
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
KeywordsLanguage
Multidisciplinary SciencesMultiple languages
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/32639

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