An article in the New York times explores the ways in which messaging can influence behaviors that contribute to the spread of coronavirus. From the article:
At this point, we have all the scientific information we need in order to prevent the surgings of the coronavirus: Avoid gathering indoors with people from outside your household, keep physically apart from others, wear a mask, wash your hands often. Among those who can follow these precautions — a lot of people, as policymakers should recognize, can’t afford to — too many are still disregarding public health advice.
The research of Professor Cristina Bicchieri was included in the ways scientists are working to influence the social norms:
Earlier this year, to assess the effect of perceived approval on Covid precautions, Bicchieri and her colleagues conducted a survey in nine countries with disparate cultures whose experience of the pandemic differed. They noted that when people expected that lots of their fellow citizens, as opposed to a few, both practiced and approved of social distancing and staying at home, they were 55 percent more likely to follow those rules; but expecting that many people either only practiced or only approved of the rules did not sway their behavior nearly as much...Notably, Bicchieri says, whether respondents trusted science also had a major effect on their willingness to follow health guidance, regardless of what they believed about their peers.
The full article can be found here.