The Impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ Attitudes toward China: Does Local Incidence Rate Matter?

Qian He, Ziye Zhang, Yu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Linking local COVID-19 and population statistics to a U.S.-based survey we recently conducted, we examine the spatial variation in the impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ attitudes toward China. The research strategy capitalizes on differential local COVID-19 incidence rates as varying dosages of COVID-19 impact across local contexts in the United States. Our results reveal negative yet heterogeneous effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on Americans’ attitudes toward China. We find that greater local exposure to COVID-19 is associated with a lower level of trust in Chinese and a less favorable attitude toward China. These findings lend consistent support to behavioral immune system theory by bridging the literature on contextual variations in public attitudes, with broader implications for U.S.-China relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

Keywords

  • China
  • context effects
  • COVID-19
  • public attitudes

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