Dr. Alexander English.jpg

COVID -19 struck the world by surprise. We simply underestimated this virus. As the world now embraces new social norms like mask policies, temperature checks and social distancing, I aim to present two early studies that show how humans have adapted to this new “post-COVID” world. In this talk, I’ll provide a brief overview of our early findings and how they can explain human behavior and a move to a new global norm.

In study 1, my research team and I observed 1,300 people in 8 Chinese cities during the first two weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak. We found ‘culture’ explained responses to “early ambiguous days” but once health authorities implemented mask policies and lockdown procedures, those differences disappeared overtime.

In study 2, with the help of 40 collaborators from 35 countries around the world, we collected people’s subjective judgments regarding the impact of COVID-19 outbreak like feelings about masks, lockdown procedures, coping responses and social communication. We find time is an important factor that explains people’s subjective judgement including more conformity toward COVID-19 related life changes.