Fear of COVID-19: What is it and what does it predict?
Gaëtan Mertens (Tilburg University)
Fear is an emotion triggered by the perception of danger and is a motivator for safety behaviors, including hygienic ones. Within the context of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there were ample danger cues (e.g., images of patients on ventilators) and a high need for people to use appropriate safety behaviors (e.g., social distancing). Given this central role of fear within the context of a pandemic, it is important to review some of the emerging findings and lessons learned to manage fear during the COVID-19 pandemic. In my talk, I will cover some questionnaires to measure fear of COVID-19, review several adaptive and maladaptive consequences of fear of COVID-19 (e.g., following governmental health policies and panic buying), and make a few tentative recommendations for policies that can promote adequate health behaviors and limit negative consequences of fear during pandemics.
The seminar will take place in person and in this virtual room.