Social Psychology and COVID-19: What the Field Can Tell Us About Behavior in a Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the lives of people around the world. Pandemics are powerful situations that can be examined from a social psychological lens. In this special section, four articles present data collected before and during the pandemic, providing a type of quasi-experimental design that helped examine the impact of the pandemic on social behavior. A number of findings emerged: the pandemic potentially increased instances of cyberbullying; the pandemic may have increased reports that Black-White intergroup interactions are more competitive and discriminatory; the pandemic may have reduced negative attitudes and bias in domestic versus international students in the U.S; and the pandemic may have allowed feelings of helplessness to provide a fear-reducing mechanism. We expand upon these findings by discussing how social psychology can help us understand and modify behaviors related to health and social relations during major threats like a pandemic.



Required Publisher's Statement

This is article was published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Social Psychology on July 26, 2021, and is available at http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00224545.2021.1935830.

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