According to health behavior theories, perceived vulnerability to a health threat and perceived effectiveness of recommended health-protective behaviors determine motivation to follow these recommendations. Because the U.S. President Trump and U.S. conservative politicians downplayed the risk and seriousness of contracting COVID-19 and the effectiveness of recommended actions, we predicted that politically conservative Americans would be less likely than liberals to enact recommended health-protective behaviors. We further predicted that these effects would be mediated by perceived health risk, perceived infection severity and perceived action effectiveness. In two studies of U.S. residents, political conservatism was inversely associated with perceived health risk and enactment of health-protective behaviors. Furthermore, perceived risk of infection (both studies), perceived severity of infection (Study 2), and perceived effectiveness of behaviors (Study 2), mediated effects of political orientation on health-protective behaviors. These effects were stronger for participants living in the U.S. (N=10,923) than outside the U.S. (N=51,986).
|Publication status||Submitted - Nov-2020|