ZPID Participates in Monitoring on Risk Perception and Preventive Behaviour about Coronavirus in Germany

How do people perceive the corona risk, what protective measures do they know and apply and what sources do they use to obtain information? This is what an international consortium led by Prof. Cornelia Betsch, University of Erfurt, is monitoring. ZPID is part of the project.

Results from the first two waves of the survey on March, 3 and 4, 2020 and March 10 and 11, 2020 are now available:

  • The population already has a high level of knowledge, takes effective protective measures, such as social distancing, but still not enough.
  • The willingness to limit themselves in such a way that the outbreak can still be managed by the German health system is surprisingly high. It is even higher, however, when it is communicated that one's own limitations will protect others who could be more seriously affected.
  • People also show a high level of acceptance for stricter measures; a large proportion are prepared to limit themselves or be restricted.
  • 17 percent (compared to 13 percent in the tenth calendar week) avoid people from countries where infections are more prevalent; 40 percent have resolved to do so (previous week: 35 percent). People from affected areas are particularly shunned by people who consider their probability of becoming ill to be high, the virus to be close, and have less confidence in the authorities. However, the majority of the population disapproves of discrimination.
  • More "actionism", e.g. wearing a mask, taking food supplements, is shown by women, people who consider COVID-19 to be a serious disease and those who have greater trust in the media. Less actionism is shown by people who assume that the virus spreads slowly.

"Our survey is designed to provide authorities, media and health organizations with information on how the population perceives the corona crisis so that they can provide appropriate answers," said ZPID director Prof. Michael Bosnjak. 

The study protocoll is stored in ZPID's open access repository, PsychArchives. ZPID is responsible for data archiving in the project. 

The following partners are responsible for the study:

  • University of Erfurt: Cornelia Betsch, Lars Korn, Lisa Felgendreff, Sarah Eitze, Philipp Schmid, Philipp Sprengholz
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Lothar Wieler, Patrick Schmich
  • ZPID - Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information: Michael Bosnjak
  • Science Media Center (SMC): Volker Stollorz
  • Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM): Michael Ramharter
  • Team Yale Institute for Global Health: Saad Omer
  • Review Team: Robert B√∂hm (University of Copenhagen), Britta Renner (University of Konstanz), Wolfgang Gaissmaier (University of Konstanz), Petra Dickmann (University Hospital of Jena)