Competing Motives In a Pandemic: Interplays Between Fundamental Social Motives and Technology Use In Predicting (Non)Compliance With Social Distancing Guidelines
During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals were advised to adhere to social distancing guidelines limiting physical interpersonal contact. Humans have a suite of adaptations to satisfy belonging needs while avoiding diseased conspecifics. Competition between motivational systems may explain adherence and resistance to social distancing guidelines and how technologically mediated interactions further shape these decisions. This study is a preregistered analysis of data in a representative sample collected during the pandemic investigating how individual differences in affiliative and pathogen-avoidant motives predict interest in physical interactions (N = 2409). Germ aversion predicted disinterest in physical interactions and need to belong predicted interest. Additional analyses revealed technology use satisfied belonging motives that unexpectedly heightened interest in physical contact. Exploratory analyses further indicate that internet speed was similarly associated with greater interest in physical interactions. We frame these results through a competing fundamental social motives framework and discuss how to address future pandemics effectively.
Computers in Human Behavior
(2021). Competing Motives In a Pandemic: Interplays Between Fundamental Social Motives and Technology Use In Predicting (Non)Compliance With Social Distancing Guidelines. Computers in Human Behavior, 123.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/18809