Title

No Evidence for Social Surrogacy in Fostering Intentions to Follow Social Distancing Guidelines

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2021

School

Psychology

Abstract

We tested whether temporary social needs satisfaction through social surrogacy would ensure greater willingness to adhere to social distancing recommendations elicited by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were randomly assigned to social exclusion or inclusion via Cyberball (n = 534) followed by either a social surrogacy manipulation (imagine favorite TV show), or one of two control states. No restorative effects emerged following a social surrogacy prime. An exploratory analysis considering age as a moderator (MAge = 36.89 years, SD = 10.88, range = 19–70 years) found that excluded adults (i.e., middle and older ages) reported more intentions to deviate following surrogacy experiences relative to control experiences; no effects emerged for younger adults in this analysis. We discuss the limitations of social surrogacy in fostering compliance with social distancing initiatives.

Publication Title

Social Psychology

Volume

52

Issue

4

First Page

215

Last Page

226

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