Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the globe coerced their citizens to adhere to preventive health behaviours, aiming to reduce the effective reproduction numbers of the virus. Driven by game theoretic considerations and inspired by the work of US National Research Council's Committee on Food Habits (1943) during WWII, and the post-WWII Yale Communication Research Program, the present research shows how to achieve enhanced adherence to health regulations without coercion. To this aim, we combine three elements: (i) indirect measurements, (ii) personalized interventions, and (iii) attitude changing treatments (IMPACT). We find that a cluster of short interventions, such as elaboration on possible consequences, induction of cognitive dissonance, addressing next of kin and similar others and receiving advice following severity judgements, improves individuals' health-preserving attitudes. We propose extending the use of IMPACT under closure periods and during the resumption of social and economic activities under COVID-19 pandemic, since efficient and lasting adherence should rely on personal attitudes rather than on coercion alone. Finally, we point to the opportunity of international cooperation generated by the pandemic.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- attitude change
- effective reproduction