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Aversion amplification in the emerging COVID-19 pandemic: The impact of political trust and subjective uncertainty on perceived threat

Lalot, Fanny, Abrams, Dominic, Travaglino, Giovanni A. (2020) Aversion amplification in the emerging COVID-19 pandemic: The impact of political trust and subjective uncertainty on perceived threat. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, . ISSN 1052-9284. (doi:10.1002/casp.2490) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:83884)

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https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2490

Abstract

Health psychology shows that responses to risk and threat depend on perceptions as much as objective factors. The present study focuses on precursors of perceived threat of COVID-19. We use the aversion amplification hypothesis from political and social psychology to propose that subjective uncertainty and political trust should interactively impact perceived threat. We conducted a cross-sectional survey amongst the general population of Scotland (N = 188) in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesised that high political trust should ameliorate the threat-elevating impact of uncertainty, thereby reducing perceived threat from high to moderate level. This hypothesis was supported, even after accounting for demographic differences. The discussion addresses the implications of the interactive role of trust and uncertainty for strategies to manage public behaviour as the pandemic progresses.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/casp.2490
Uncontrolled keywords: aversion amplification; COVID-19; perceived threat; political trust; uncertainty
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre for the Studies of Group Processes
Depositing User: Giovanni Travaglino
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2020 17:16 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/83884 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Lalot, Fanny: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1237-5585
Abrams, Dominic: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2113-4572
Travaglino, Giovanni A.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4091-0634
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