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


Lisa Legault

In collaboration with an worldwide workforce of scientists, Lisa Legault, Associate Professor of Psychology at Clarkson, a short while ago printed a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on how to correctly encourage men and women to engage in social distancing.

The international experiment was performed utilizing 25,718 participants from 89 nations, and translated into dozens of languages. As portion of the guide layout group, Legault and her co-authors received a science accelerator competitiveness for COVID investigation in 2020, which enabled them to translate and disseminate their experimental protocol to a lot more than 500 research labs around the world.

The experiment examined the motivational qualities of messages about social distancing – evaluating messages that were being supportive of private decision and company (i.e., “autonomy-supportive”) to individuals that had been forceful and shaming (i.e., “controlling”). The autonomy-supportive message lessened defiance of social distancing recommendations relative to the controlling concept, and the controlling information increased controlled drive, a a lot less powerful kind of enthusiasm, relative to no message. Even though concept form did not straight impact intentions to socially length, participants’ amount of autonomous commitment was similar to improved intentions to engage in social distancing, whereas controlled motivation was associated to much less intentions. The findings are generalized throughout countries and can notify community wellness conversation strategies in this and long term international health emergencies.

You can read through the paper below:

Legault is a social psychologist who experiments helpful and ineffective motivational interaction.


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