The study emphasises how health agencies should create risk messages that increase people’s estimation of personal risk and knowledge towards the virus.
Kirti Tyagi, Lecturer, Jindal School of Psychology and Counselling, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Global health authorities are trying to identify factors that influence people’s behavioural patterns to engage in preventive measures against COVID-19. The study examines the predictors of precautionary behaviours following the socio-emotional-cognitive risk perception model and presents a descriptive picture of people’s risk perception and precautionary behaviours during the COVID-19 lockdown in India. Around 203 participants in the age group of 18–67 years living in different covid active zones of India completed the online survey.
Indian participants reported high engagement in various precautionary behaviours, with a high level of awareness and risk perception towards the diseases. Participants also expressed moderate to high level of worry towards the pandemic, with a moderate level of trust in the government’s ability to fight the pandemic. Further, a significant positive relationship was observed between risk severity, perceived personal risk impact, and anxiety towards the pandemic, and between awareness and engagement in precautionary behaviours.
Additionally, only cognitive factors of risk perception (e.g., perceived psychological invulnerability and awareness about diseases) were found to be significant predictors for engagement in precautionary behaviours. Therefore, the present study emphasises how health agencies should create risk messages that increase people’s estimation of personal risk and knowledge towards the virus.
Published in: Journal of Health Management
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