COVID-19 - Coronavirus disease 2019

Covid-19 and Social Distanciation : Sujective time and socio-congitive reguaion of risk behaviours – Covid-19-SocioDistant

Submission summary

Despite their highly strategic nature, social distancing measures are not necessarily respected, even when the health risks for each individual are scientifically proven, known and widely publicised. As some epidemiologists indicated, how individuals respond to government recommendations is at least as important as the nature of the recommendations themselves. The question of individual and collective behaviour and their determinants is therefore now clearly raised in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. Within this framework, cognitive and behavioural sciences, and particularly social-cognitive psychology in this field of health, are legitimate as in all questions on these risky behaviours. Understanding these complex psychological behaviours requires the articulation of different levels of explanation. Specifically, the aims of our project called “Covid-19-SocioDistant” are: 1- to provide an initial quantified estimate of the way in which variables at different levels - intra-individual, situational, positional and ideological – operate in the representations that individuals form about Covid-19, its health risks, and the legitimacy and usefulness of official recommendations in this area; 2- to test the relationship between these representations and the behaviours, intentions and desires of individuals not to respect social distances; and 3- to estimate the effects of confinement on the feeling of social isolation, the affects and the perception of time, which may lead to compliance with or violation of the confinement rules, knowing that the representations may influence these emotional and cognitive dimensions. At the interface of the SHS and the life and health sciences, this project - although developed in the urgency of an unprecedented health crisis - will therefore provide an understanding of the socio-cognitive, emotional and behavioural dynamics related to compliance with or violation of official measures of social distances, particularly with regard to confinement. Data of this type are still largely lacking, although they are essential to complement the modelling of epidemiologists and economists and to effectively fight against the spread of viruses such as Covid-19.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.



Help of the ANR 154,656 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: June 2020 - 18 Months

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