News Consumption and Germ Aversion is Related to Preventive Behaviors Against COVID-19
Abstract: The behavioral immune system (BIS) automatically activates certain cognitions, emotions and behaviors in the presence of potentially harmful pathogens. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to study reactions evoked by the BIS, to see if such reactions are related to a decreased or increased risk of the spread of pathogens, as well as if they are related to some external factors. A convenience sample of 109 participants aged 21-75 years answered an online questionnaire containing the perceived vulnerability to disease (PVD) scale and various questions about COVID-19 news consumption, preventive behaviors, and vaccination. The research question was: “To what extent does COVID-19 news consumption predict preventive behavior and vaccination, and to what extent is this mediated by PVD?”. Correlational and mediation analyses revealed that those who consume more news and those who rate themselves higher in germ aversion are more likely to engage in more preventive behaviors, but there were no mediating effects amongst these variables.
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