Covid-Norms: monitoring and analysing preventive behaviour
This project investigates how social norms for preventive behaviours have developed during the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland. The study combines surveys of the Swiss population and analysis of content in the Swiss media.
Given the negative economic and social effects of enforced lockdowns on public life, alternative approaches need to be developed. Particularly in democracies like Switzerland, the only legitimate and feasible strategy is to convince the population to comply voluntarily with infection prevention. Hence, the challenge for combating COVID-19 will be to establish social norms of preventive behaviour that socially regulate compliance with protective measures in Switzerland.
The project’s overarching aim is to gain a profound understanding of how social norms of preventive behaviour have developed in Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic. These scientific insights will be translated into evidence-based guidance for monitoring and influencing norms of preventive behaviour in the Swiss population.
Expected results and envisaged products
The project is based on a weekly trend survey and automated content analysis of the most important news media and social media. Accordingly, the project provides a weekly updated monitor of how widespread various preventive measures are in the Swiss population, how much approval they receive from the population and how they are discussed in the public discourse. Via our project website www.covid-norms.ch, the monitor will be accessible to health authorities, other researchers and the general public, and provide timely information about the most important prevention measures.
Specific contribution to tackle the current pandemic
The project builds on a close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). This collaboration ensures rapid translation of scientific insights into evidence-based, specific guidance for disease prevention. The weekly updated monitor of prevention norms will inform ongoing communication strategies of the FOPH, such as campaigns, and will help to prepare a potential vaccination campaign.
A Normative Approach to Disease Prevention: Monitoring and Influencing the Factors and Dynamics of Social Norms regarding Preventive Behaviours
Website NRP 78 Research