RAPID: Changes in risk perceptions and COVID-19

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world at the beginning of 2020 is a testament to the need for sustained global responses to emerging infectious diseases. In response to COVID-19, governments worldwide have instituted a variety of countermeasures and encouraged citizens to practice certain hygienic behaviors. At the same time, more needs to be learned about how people throughout the world respond to government actions during an infectious disease outbreak. 

This project looks at how behaviors and acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine change over time and how they are related to risk perceptions and the number of cases and deaths in a region. Through the collections of several waves of Internet-based surveys from individuals in the United States, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and Taiwan, the international focus will identify what characteristics are associated with sustained adherence to public health recommendations and why they vary globally. The survey asks participants about their adherence towards countermeasures, risk perceptions, and acceptance of a hypothetical vaccine for COVID-19.

The aims of this study are:

  • To characterize the relationship between the epidemiology of disease and changes over time in risk perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes towards hygienic behaviors.
  • To examine if risk perceptions affect acceptance of vaccines.
  • To contrast adherence to public health recommendations across countries which have had different governmental responses to the outbreak.

This information can be used to better understand how to sustain compliance with public health recommendations and how to promote a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Funded by the National Science Foundation.