A team of international researchers explored the universality of family responsible decision-making when it comes to public health concerns. The study is published in the journal PNAS Nexus.
The researchers surveyed 13,000 participants across the UK, Austria, Singapore, Israel, Italy, and Sweden. They were asked to choose from three hypothetical scenarios related to “pandemic gathering” and health responsible decision-making.
These included making decisions about reducing gathering capacity at a restaurant/celebration or canceling a major celebration (such as birthdays, Thanksgiving, etc.).
The results revealed that making decisions around family gatherings to minimize public health risks appears to be a universal trait across several cultures, age groups, and political affiliations.
It was found that, while making the right decisions, most people pause and practice a technique called “structured reflection”. They strive to understand how their decisions would impact them personally vs how these would impact public health.
One of the lead researchers, Leaf Van Boven, elaborated: “Our study [suggests that] it is a universal human tendency that people believe they should care about how their behavior affects other people.”
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Ramos, J., Grant, M. D., Dickert, S., Eom, K., Flores, A., Jiga-Boy, G. M., Kogut, T., Mayorga, M., Pedersen, E. J., Pereira, B., Rubaltelli, E., Sherman, D. K., Slovic, P., Västfjäll, D., & Van Boven, L. (2022). Structured reflection increases intentions to reduce other people’s health risks during COVID-19. PNAS Nexus, 1(5). https://doi.org/10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac218