Disease avoidance motives trade-off against social motives, especially mate-seeking, to predict social distancing: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

Gul, P., Keesmekers, N., Elmas, P., Köse, F.E., Koskun, T., Wisman, A. and Kupfer, T.R. ORCID: 0000-0003-1147-6082, 2021. Disease avoidance motives trade-off against social motives, especially mate-seeking, to predict social distancing: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Psychological and Personality Science. ISSN 1948-5506

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Abstract

A range of studies have sought to understand why people's compliance with social distancing varied during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent theory suggests that pathogen avoidance behavior is based not only on perceived risk but on a trade-off between the perceived costs of pathogen exposure and the perceived benefits of social contact. We hypothesized that compliance with social distancing may therefore be explained by a trade-off between pathogen avoidance and various social motives such as mate-seeking. Two studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that social distancing was positively associated with disease avoidance motives but negatively associated with social motives, especially mating motives. These associations remained after controlling for predictors identified by previous research, including risk perception and personality. Findings indicate that people who are more interested in seeking new romantic partners (e.g., young men) may be less inclined to socially distance and be more at risk of pathogen transmission.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social Psychological and Personality Science
Creators: Gul, P., Keesmekers, N., Elmas, P., Köse, F.E., Koskun, T., Wisman, A. and Kupfer, T.R.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 3 October 2021
ISSN: 1948-5506
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/19485506211046462DOI
1523905Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 10 Mar 2022 15:07
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 15:07
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45846

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