The Effect of Collectivistic and Individualistic Orientation on Support for COVID-19 Safety Practices

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Arzate, Jennifer
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Middle Tennessee State University
Americans are known for their sense of self, and their fight for individual rights, but could this cause more harm than good during a global pandemic. Statistics provided by WHO and the CDC suggest that the United States was not handling the pandemic well compared to other developed nations. Using the ATP Wave 69 dataset provided by the Pew Research Center, this study examined the effects of collectivist/individualist orientation on the likelihood of complying with pandemic safety practices such as masking, social distancing, and quarantining. Using an OLS regression, this study found that individuals who showed high concern for others (collectivist motivation) were more likely to support safe pandemic practices than those who showed low concern. Individuals who showed high concern for themselves (individualist motivation) were also more likely to support safe pandemic practices than those who showed low concern. Those who were high in concern for self and for others showed the strongest support for safety practices. This study also found that individualist motivation had a stronger effect than collectivist motivation, suggesting that a sense of self-preservation was more important than a concern for others as a motivation for supporting COVID-19 safety practices.
Collectivism, Compliance, COVID, Individualsim, Pandemic, Self preservation, Sociology