Monday, January 4, 2021
Pandemic Compliance: A Systematic Review of Influences on Social Distancing Behaviour during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Outbreak
Emmeke Barbara Kooistra (University of Amsterdam), Benjamin van Rooij (University of California), Pandemic Compliance: A Systematic Review of Influences on Social Distancing Behaviour during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Outbreak, SSRN:
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigation measures compelling people to keep a safe social distance led to a massive, unprecedented behavioural change across the globe. The present study seeks to understand what variables made people comply with such mitigation measures. It systematically reviewed 45 studies with data about compliance behaviour during the first wave (found in searches from March 1st till June 30th 2020). The review shows that a combination of variables shaped compliance behaviour, including people’s fear of the virus, psychosocial factors (including impulsivity, negative emotions, self-efficacy, and social norms), institutional variables (including attitudes towards the mitigation measures, belief in conspiracy theories and knowledge of the virus), and situational variables (capacity to obey and opportunity to violate the rules). Notably, the reviewed studies did not find a significant association between law enforcement (perceived deterrence) and compliance here. The review assesses what these findings mean for behavioural theory and for policy makers seeking to mitigate pandemics like COVID-19. Also, it reflects on the limitations of the reviewed body of work and future directions for pandemic compliance research.