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Self-enhancement and counterproductive COVID-19 behavior

Self-enhancement and counterproductive COVID-19 behavior
Self-enhancement and counterproductive COVID-19 behavior
Self-enhancement is the motive to pursue, preserve, or amplify the positivity of self-views, and results in inflated self-views. For example, people believe they rank above average across a variety of characteristics. Additionally, they believe they have an above average likelihood of experiencing positive events and avoiding negative events. We argue that self-enhancement explains counterproductive behavior during the pandemic. People could believe that their ability to resist or recuperate from COVID-19 is above average, their knowledge of COVID-19 is above average, and they are less influenced by COVID-19 conspiracy theories than others. Further, they might believe that their likelihood of infection is lower than average, they would respond more favorably to treatment than others, and their country will quell the effects of COVID-19 more quickly than other countries. Such beliefs might engender less precautionary behavior such as social distancing, use of face masks, sanitizing, and vaccination. We summarize lessons learned and offer research directions.
self-enhancement, better-than-average effect, unrealistic optimism, self-evaluation, positive illusions, pandemic behavior
Cambridge University Press
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Miller, Monica
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Miller, Monica

Sedikides, Constantine (2021) Self-enhancement and counterproductive COVID-19 behavior. In, Miller, Monica (ed.) The social science of the COVID-19 pandemic: A call to action for researchers. Cambridge, UK. Cambridge University Press. (In Press)

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Self-enhancement is the motive to pursue, preserve, or amplify the positivity of self-views, and results in inflated self-views. For example, people believe they rank above average across a variety of characteristics. Additionally, they believe they have an above average likelihood of experiencing positive events and avoiding negative events. We argue that self-enhancement explains counterproductive behavior during the pandemic. People could believe that their ability to resist or recuperate from COVID-19 is above average, their knowledge of COVID-19 is above average, and they are less influenced by COVID-19 conspiracy theories than others. Further, they might believe that their likelihood of infection is lower than average, they would respond more favorably to treatment than others, and their country will quell the effects of COVID-19 more quickly than other countries. Such beliefs might engender less precautionary behavior such as social distancing, use of face masks, sanitizing, and vaccination. We summarize lessons learned and offer research directions.

Text
Zell & Sedikides, Self Enhancement and COVID-19
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 21 April 2021
Keywords: self-enhancement, better-than-average effect, unrealistic optimism, self-evaluation, positive illusions, pandemic behavior

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449097
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449097
PURE UUID: 91f0b3d9-a61a-4f54-b5bd-e3881a38368b
ORCID for Constantine Sedikides: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4036-889X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:45

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Contributors

Editor: Monica Miller

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