Covid-19 and Social Science




PI or Contact

Sequencing COVID19 Mitigation Measures and Implementation Mechanisms

In response to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, governments and organizations across the globe have taken advisory and binding measures to reduce and contain the spread of the virus. These measures seek to change existing human behavior and improve hygiene, social distancing, and human isolation to ensure that the virus has less opportunity to pass from one person to another. To ensure that these measures are effective, authorities have also adopted implementation mechanisms, including enforcement, shut-down orders, and forms of public messaging. The present research seeks to understand what factors have influenced the adoption of COVID19 mitigation measures and implementation mechanisms? It particularly focuses on the role political, scientific, and audience framing played in such adoption. It assesses how these these frames interacted with each other, as well as with the impact of the pandemic on health, and the impact of the measures on society and people’s behavioural responses to the measures to shape the adaptation of further measures and implementation mechanisms. The research provides a vital understanding about why some societies are slower or faster to adopt different types of measures, which is ultimately crucial for learning about future preparedness to major health crises.

Media content analysis, with a focus on US, UK, Sweden, The Netherlands and China

Benjamin van Rooij;
in collaboration with Duke Kunshan University.

Compliance with COVID19 Mitigation Measures

In response to Covid-19 pandemic, authorities across the globe have taken measures to slow the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable groups from contagion. These measures are vital in decreasing mortality and reducing an overburdening of health care systems. According to one estimate these mitigation measures can save at least 20 million lives and when they are adopted early enough (at 0.2 deaths per 100,000 population per week) up to 38.7 million lives globally (Walker et al. 2020). This study answers two crucial questions in relation to these mitigation measures. First it studies to what extent people have complied with the measures taken. And second it analyzes what factors have played a role in shaping variation in such compliance.The answers to these questions can shed light on the extent to which the measures have been effective in achieving the desired change in behavior that can slow the spread of the virus. And they can help to guide policies that seek to improve such compliance.

Surveys in the US, Netherlands

Benjamin van Rooij;
in collaboration with Arizona State University, University of California, Irvine and Bar-Il University

Psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 crisis

Due to the Corona crisis, young adolescents are forced to stay at home, away from family and friends. This mandated incarceration is unique, it never happened at such a scale before and is therefore never researched before. However, the latest pandemic was only 10 years ago (the Mexican flu), so it is not unlikely that this will happen again. Therefore, it is relevant to understand how this period of isolation influences the mental well-being of young adolescents, their social networks and how they cope with this situation. The specific aim of the pilot is to asses mental health, resilience and coping strategies of youth (16-24) during the isolation period of Corona.

The data collection is done through online questionnaires

Levi van Dam, Geert Jan Stams, Naomi Koning

Covid-19 family study

Due to the current pandemic, the living situation for thousands of families across the world has rapidly and drastically changed. The aim of the covid-19 family study is to understand how families have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, both in The Netherlands and internationally. As such, we’re asking parents of children aged 6-17 years to fill out a short survey of questions online about family life at present, parenting, and child and parent mental health. Our plan is to share live research updates with youth organizations via our website and social media so that they can better support families during the crisis.

International online survey study

Nicole Creasey

Collecting systematic survey data on scientists’ information-seeking and information-spreading behaviour in a time of crisis

Information is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO has called for action towards the “infodemic”: an overabundance of often unreliable information which creates uncertainty and anxiety. Responses from governments and the public are based on access to reliable information from experts. This project proposes to systematically survey the adapting information-seeking and information-spreading behaviours of scientists working on COVID-19 as the pandemic unfolds, in order to deliver actionable insights and make available otherwise-lost data for future study and preparedness.

Data collection; Survey.

Giovanni Colavizza
Karlijn Roex

Wikipedia as a source of information on COVID-19

Wikipediais a key public and open asset in conveying reliable information to the public. How has it been coping with the COVID-19 "infodemic"? In this project, we are investigating the reliability and representativity of COVID-19 research on which Wikipedia relies on.

Data analysis

Giovanni Colavizza

Household Behaviour: The COVID-19 “Dance” Phase

Until a vaccine arrives, forecasting economic activity is even more difficult than usual. For example, in the UK it is striking to see the difference between the IMF’s baseline scenario GDP loss of 6.5% for 2020, and the Office for Budget Responsibility’s “reference scenario” which projects a loss of 12.8%. In this unusual time, one of the main challenges is to understand how this crisis affects the consumption and investment demands of households. This research project aims to shed light on these unknown variables with a representative survey. First, we want to investigate how the crisis has already changed investment and consumption demands. Second, we want to understand the expected consumption and investment behaviour of households when lockdown restrictions are progressively lifted but prior to an effective treatment or vaccine being available. Knowledge on this point will be crucial for predicting the shape (V, U, L) of the future economic recovery. Do households expect to go back to their pre-crisis consumption and investment patterns, or do they plan to reduce consumption and increase saving? Which products or services do households plan to reduce, increase, or substitute? And to what degree? Third, we will investigate the household’s perception on the necessity of retaining various COVID-19 containment measures until the vaccine arrives.

Data Collection by survey in OECD countries and Asia

Stefanie J. Huber, 
Isabelle Salle 

Helping  children, parents and families through online counselling

The popularity of online counselling has been growing due to the advantages in, for example, accessibility and flexibility in terms of location. It enables practitioners to reach families who live in remote locations and can lower the threshold for some families to seek and accept help. The outbreak of COVID-19 imposes a new and unique reason to use online counselling due to the restrictions regarding face-to-face contact. This current necessity of using online tools forces practitioners to acutely translate current systems and methods to online alternatives and to use online tools regardless of their age, online skills, attitudes, and technology acceptance. In this study we assess how professionals working with children, parents or families during this Covid-19 period  experience this sudden transition and  online counselling focussing on technology, skills, content, therapeutic alliance, and what works (or does not) and for whom.

A short questionnaire and interviews are used to map their experiences with

Joyce Weeland (EUR),

Floor van Rooij (UvA)