Boredom proneness, political orientation and adherence to social-distancing in the pandemic.
Research recently showed that boredom proneness was associated with increased social distancing rule-breaking in a sample collected early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we explore data collected early in the pandemic to examine what factors might drive this relation. We focus on political affiliation. Given the functional account of boredom as a call to action, we hypothesized that this urge to act may drive individuals towards outlets replete with symbolic value (e.g., ideology, identity). In addition, given the politicization of some social distancing rules (e.g., mask wearing), we explored whether those who adhere to strong political ideologies-particularly conservative ideologies-would be more likely to rule-break. Moderation analyses indicated that boredom proneness and social (but not fiscal) conservatism were indeed predictive of rule-breaking. These results highlight the need for both clear messaging emphasizing the strength of communal identity and action (i.e., that "We are all in this together") and for interventions that emphasize shared collective values in contexts that appeal directly to social conservatives.
Brosowsky, NP; Van Tilburg, W; Scholer, AA; Boylan, J; Seli, P; Danckert, J
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