National identity predicts public health support during a global pandemic

Jay J. Van Bavel*, Aleksandra Cichocka, Valerio Capraro, Hallgeir Sjåstad, John B. Nezlek, Tomislav Pavlović, Mark Alfano, Michele J. Gelfand, Flavio Azevedo, Michèle D. Birtel, Aleksandra Cislak, Patricia L. Lockwood, Robert Malcolm Ross, Koen Abts, Elena Agadullina, John Jamir Benzon Aruta, Sahba Nomvula Besharati, Alexander Bor, Becky L. Choma, Charles David CrabtreeWilliam A. Cunningham, Koustav De, Waqas Ejaz, Christian T. Elbaek, Andrej Findor, Daniel Flichtentrei, Renata Franc, Biljana Gjoneska, June Gruber, Estrella Gualda, Yusaku Horiuchi, Toan Luu Duc Huynh, Augustin Ibanez, Mostak Ahamed Imran, Jacob Israelashvili, Katarzyna Jasko, Jaroslaw Kantorowicz, Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko, André Krouwel, Michael Laakasuo, Claus Lamm, Caroline Leygue, Ming Jen Lin, Mohammad Sabbir Mansoor, Antoine Marie, Lewend Mayiwar, Honorata Mazepus, Cillian McHugh, John Paul Minda, Panagiotis Mitkidis, Andreas Olsson, Tobias Otterbring, Dominic J. Packer, Anat Perry, Michael Bang Petersen, Arathy Puthillam, Julián C. Riaño-Moreno, Tobias Rothmund, Hernando Santamaría-García, Petra C. Schmid, Drozdstoy Stoyanov, Shruti Tewari, Bojan Todosijević, Manos Tsakiris, Hans H. Tung, Radu G. Umbreș, Edmunds Vanags, Madalina Vlasceanu, Andrew Vonasch, Meltem Yucel, Yucheng Zhang, Mohcine Abad, Eli Adler, Narin Akrawi, Hamza Alaoui Mdarhri, Hanane Amara, David M. Amodio, Benedict G. Antazo, Matthew Apps, F. Ceren Ay, Mouhamadou Hady Ba, Sergio Barbosa, Brock Bastian, Anton Berg, Maria P. Bernal-Zárate, Michael Bernstein, Michał Białek, Ennio Bilancini, Natalia Bogatyreva, Leonardo Boncinelli, Jonathan E. Booth, Sylvie Borau, Ondrej Buchel, C. Daryl Cameron, Chrissie F. Carvalho, Tatiana Celadin, Chiara Cerami, Hom Nath Chalise, Xiaojun Cheng, Luca Cian, Kate Cockcroft, Jane Conway, Mateo Andres Córdoba-Delgado, Chiara Crespi, Marie Crouzevialle, Jo Cutler, Marzena Cypryańska, Justyna Dabrowska, Michael A. Daniels, Victoria H. Davis, Pamala N. Dayley, Sylvain Delouvee, Ognjan Denkovski, Guillaume Dezecache, Nathan A. Dhaliwal, Alelie B. Diato, Roberto Di Paolo, Marianna Drosinou, Uwe Dulleck, Jānis Ekmanis, Arhan S. Ertan, Tom W. Etienne, Hapsa Hossain Farhana, Fahima Farkhari, Harry Farmer, Ali Fenwick, Kristijan Fidanovski, Terry Flew, Shona Fraser, Raymond Boadi Frempong, Jonathan A. Fugelsang, Jessica Gale, E. Begoña Garcia-Navarro, Prasad Garladinne, Oussama Ghajjou, Theofilos Gkinopoulos, Kurt Gray, Siobhán M. Griffin, Bjarki Gronfeldt, Mert Gümren, Ranju Lama Gurung, Eran Halperin, Elizabeth Harris, Volo Herzon, Matej Hruška, Guanxiong Huang, Matthias F.C. Hudecek, Ozan Isler, Simon Jangard, Frederik J. Jørgensen, Frank Kachanoff, John Kahn, Apsara Katuwal Dangol, Oleksandra Keudel, Lina Koppel, Mika Koverola, Emily Kubin, Anton Kunnari, Yordan Kutiyski, Oscar Laguna, Josh Leota, Eva Lermer, Jonathan Levy, Neil Levy, Chunyun Li, Elizabeth U. Long, Chiara Longoni, Marina Maglić, Darragh McCashin, Alexander L. Metcalf, Igor Mikloušić, Soulaimane El Mimouni, Asako Miura, Juliana Molina-Paredes, César Monroy-Fonseca, Elena Morales-Marente, David Moreau, Rafał Muda, Annalisa Myer, Kyle Nash, Tarik Nesh-Nash, Jonas P. Nitschke, Matthew S. Nurse, Yohsuke Ohtsubo, Victoria Oldemburgo de Mello, Cathal O’Madagain, Michal Onderco, M. Soledad Palacios-Galvez, Jussi Palomäki, Yafeng Pan, Zsófia Papp, Philip Pärnamets, Mariola Paruzel-Czachura, Zoran Pavlović, César Payán-Gómez, Silva Perander, Michael Mark Pitman, Rajib Prasad, Joanna Pyrkosz-Pacyna, Steve Rathje, Ali Raza, Gabriel G. Rêgo, Kasey Rhee, Claire E. Robertson, Iván Rodríguez-Pascual, Teemu Saikkonen, Octavio Salvador-Ginez, Waldir M. Sampaio, Gaia C. Santi, Natalia Santiago-Tovar, David Savage, Julian A. Scheffer, Philipp Schönegger, David T. Schultner, Enid M. Schutte, Andy Scott, Madhavi Sharma, Pujan Sharma, Ahmed Skali, David Stadelmann, Clara Alexandra Stafford, Dragan Stanojević, Anna Stefaniak, Anni Sternisko, Augustin Stoica, Kristina K. Stoyanova, Brent Strickland, Jukka Sundvall, Jeffrey P. Thomas, Gustav Tinghög, Benno Torgler, Iris J. Traast, Raffaele Tucciarelli, Michael Tyrala, Nick D. Ungson, Mete S. Uysal, Paul A.M. Van Lange, Jan Willem van Prooijen, Dirk van Rooy, Daniel Västfjäll, Peter Verkoeijen, Joana B. Vieira, Christian von Sikorski, Alexander Cameron Walker, Jennifer Watermeyer, Erik Wetter, Ashley Whillans, Robin Willardt, Michael J.A. Wohl, Adrian Dominik Wójcik, Kaidi Wu, Yuki Yamada, Onurcan Yilmaz, Kumar Yogeeswaran, Carolin Theresa Ziemer, Rolf A. Zwaan, Paulo S. Boggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Changing collective behaviour and supporting non-pharmaceutical interventions is an important component in mitigating virus transmission during a pandemic. In a large international collaboration (Study 1, N = 49,968 across 67 countries), we investigated self-reported factors associated with public health behaviours (e.g., spatial distancing and stricter hygiene) and endorsed public policy interventions (e.g., closing bars and restaurants) during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic (April-May 2020). Respondents who reported identifying more strongly with their nation consistently reported greater engagement in public health behaviours and support for public health policies. Results were similar for representative and non-representative national samples. Study 2 (N = 42 countries) conceptually replicated the central finding using aggregate indices of national identity (obtained using the World Values Survey) and a measure of actual behaviour change during the pandemic (obtained from Google mobility reports). Higher levels of national identification prior to the pandemic predicted lower mobility during the early stage of the pandemic (r = −0.40). We discuss the potential implications of links between national identity, leadership, and public health for managing COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number517
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank Katie Eilish Brown for constructive comments throughout the editorial process. We also acknowledge the following funding sources: John Templeton Foundation (JTF) - 61378 [Van Bavel] Narodowe Centrum Nauki (National Science Centre) - 2018/29/B/HS6/02826 [Cislak] RCUK | Medical Research Council (MRC) - MR/P014097/1 [Lockwood] Economic Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Award, University of Oxford [Lockwood] Gouvernement du Canada | Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada) - 130760 [Choma] Gouvernement du Canada | Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada) - SSHRC-506547 [Cunningham] Agentúra na Podporu Výskumu a Vývoja (Slovak Research and Development Agency) - APVV-17-0596 [Findor] Narodowe Centrum Nauki (National Science Centre) - 2015/19/B/HS6/01253 [Jasko] Academy of Finland (Suomen Akatemia) [Laakasuo] Austrian Science Fund (Fonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung) - I3381 [Lamm] Universität Wien (University of Vienna) [Lamm] Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan) [Lin] Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond (Aarhus University Research Foundation) - AUFF-E-201 9-9-4 [Mitkidis] Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) - 2018-00877 [Olsson] Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond (Aarhus University Research Foundation) - 28207 [Otterbring] Carlsbergfondet (Carlsberg Foundation) - CF20-0044 [Petersen] Ministarstvo Prosvete, Nauke i Tehnološkog Razvoja (Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia) - 47010 [Todosijević] NOMIS Stiftung (NOMIS Foundation) [Tsakiris] Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan) [Tung] National Natural Science Foundation of China (National Science Foundation of China) - 71972065 [Zhang] National Natural Science Foundation of China (National Science Foundation of China) - 71602163 [Zhang] RCUK | Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - BB/R010668/1 [Apps] Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Agency) - ANR-17-EURE-0010 [Conway] Gouvernement du Canada | Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada) - SSHRC-506547 [Davis] Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) - EXC 2052/1 – 390713894 [Frempong] Gouvernement du Canada | Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Naturelles et en Génie du Canada) [Fugelsang] Agentúra na Podporu Výskumu a Vývoja (Slovak Research and Development Agency) - APVV-17-0596 [Hruška] Carlsbergfondet (Carlsberg Foundation) - CF20-0044 [Jørgensen] Gouvernement du Canada | Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada) - SSHRC-506547 [Long] Austrian Science Fund (Fonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung) - I3381 [Nitschke] Universität Wien (University of Vienna) [Nitschke] Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) - EXC 2052/1 – 390713894 [Stadelmann] Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Agency) - ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL [Strickland] Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Agency) - ANR-17-EURE-0017 [Strickland] Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) [Tinghög] HKUST IEMS research grant project, funded by EY [Tyrala] Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) [Västfjäll] Gouvernement du Canada | Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada) - 435-2012-1135 [Wohl] Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education) - 88887.310255/2018 [Boggio] Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education) - 1133/2019 [Boggio] Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation | Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) - 309905/2019-2 [Boggio] Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence Scheme, FAIR project No 262675 [Sjåstad] Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar [Pavlović] J. William Fulbright Program [Azevedo] Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich [Birtel] Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar [Franc] Project Pro.Co.P.E., IMT School (PAI2019) [Bilancini] Italian Ministry of University and Research - PRIN 2017 (20178293XT) [Boncinelli] Princeton Graduate Student Research Funding (Program in Cognitive Science) [Vlasceanu] Corruption Laboratory on Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law (CLEAR), University of Virginia [Yucel] Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich [Farmer] Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence Scheme, FAIR project No 262675 [Ay] Charles Koch Foundation, Center for the Science of Moral Understanding [Gray] Australian Research Council (DP180102384) [Levy] JSPS KAKENHI (JP16H03079, JP17H00875, JP18K12015, JP20H04581, and 21H03784) [Yamada] St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme Research Funding [Schönegger] Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar [Maglić] São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP (2019/27100-1) [Sampaio] Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar [Mikloušić] Seele Neuroscience Social Projects Fund (2020/004) [Monroy-Fonseca] São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP (2019/26665-5) [Rego]

Funding
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

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