May 28, 2024

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Clarkson Psychology Professor Publishes International Experiment on How to Motivate Social Distancing Behavior

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Lisa Legault

In collaboration with an intercontinental group of researchers, Lisa Legault, Affiliate Professor of Psychology at Clarkson, recently published a paper in Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on how to successfully inspire persons to interact in social distancing.

The international experiment was conducted making use of 25,718 participants from 89 nations, and translated into dozens of languages. As section of the guide layout staff, Legault and her co-authors received a science accelerator opposition for COVID research in 2020, which enabled them to translate and disseminate their experimental protocol to more than 500 research labs all over the world.

The experiment tested the motivational characteristics of messages about social distancing – comparing messages that were supportive of own choice and agency (i.e., “autonomy-supportive”) to people that were being forceful and shaming (i.e., “controlling”). The autonomy-supportive message lowered defiance of social distancing recommendations relative to the managing information, and the managing information improved managed enthusiasm, a a lot less helpful form of inspiration, relative to no message. Though message kind did not right impact intentions to socially length, participants’ degree of autonomous drive was linked to increased intentions to interact in social distancing, while managed commitment was relevant to much less intentions. The results are generalized across nations around the world and can tell general public health communication procedures in this and potential global wellness emergencies.

You can go through the paper right here: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2111091119

Legault is a social psychologist who scientific studies powerful and ineffective motivational conversation.

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