Data_Sheet_1_Behavioral Changes After the COVID-19 Lockdown in Italy.pdf (193.49 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Behavioral Changes After the COVID-19 Lockdown in Italy.pdf

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posted on 10.03.2021, 04:14 by Veronica Cucchiarini, Laura Caravona, Laura Macchi, Federico L. Perlino, Riccardo Viale

This study aims at identifying the tools necessary for COVID-19 health emergency management, with particular reference to the period following the first lockdown, a crucial phase in which it was important to favor the maintenance of protective behaviors. It also aims at identifying the messages and sources that were most effective in managing communication correctly in such a crucial phase that is likely characterized by a fall in perceived health risk (due to the flattening of the epidemic curve) and a simultaneous rise in perceived economic and social risks (due to the enduring calamity). Knowing what source will be most effective to convey a specific message is fundamental in enabling individuals to focus on and comply with the rules. At the same time, it is necessary to understand how the message should be presented, and the relationships between messages, sources and targets. To meet these goals, data were collected through a self-administered online questionnaire submitted to a sample of undergraduate students from a University in Lombardy–the region most affected by the pandemic in the first wave- (Study 1), and to a national sample composed of Italian citizens (Study 2). Through our first manipulation which explored the effectiveness of social norms in relation to different sources, we found that, in the national sample, the injunctive norm conveyed by the government was the most effective in promoting behavioral intentions. By contrast, among the students, results showed that for the critical group with a lower risk perception (less inclined to adopt prevention behavior) descriptive norms, which implicitly convey the risk perception of peers, were as effective as the government injunctive norm. Our second manipulation, identical in Study 1 and 2, compared four types of communication (emotional, exponential growth, both of them, or neutral). The neutral condition was the most memorable, but no condition was more effective than the others. Across all message types there was a high intention to adopt protective behaviors. The results indicate possible applicative implications of the adopted communicative tools.