Worldviews, trust, and risk perceptions shape public acceptance of COVID-19 public health measures

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
June 15, 2021; vol. 118 no. 24
https://www.pnas.org/content/118/24

 

Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Worldviews, trust, and risk perceptions shape public acceptance of COVID-19 public health measures
Michael Siegrist and Angela Bearth
PNAS June 15, 2021 118 (24) e2100411118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2100411118
Significance
The successful implementation of measures aimed at reducing the number of people infected with COVID-19 crucially depends on public acceptance of these measures. We show that it is not gender or age but psychological variables, such as trust and worldviews, that strongly influence people’s risk perceptions and acceptance of the measures. We are able to show these effects in both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs. Since the acceptance of implemented measures crucially depends on whether they are in line with people’s values and worldviews, the latter two variables are as relevant as epidemiological facts for successful risk management.