To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, some U.S. State governments restricted public activity by implementing lockdowns. The possibility remains that lockdowns may need to be implemented in the future, whether to combat novel strains of COVID-19 or entirely different viruses. The present experiment tested whether thinking about a future lockdown affects people’s attitudes toward institutions. We found that conservative participants who thought about a future lockdown reported less intention to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and less trust in the government compared to conservative participants in a control condition. We also found that liberal participants who thought about a future lockdown reported more trust in the government and the CDC, compared to liberal participants in a control condition. These findings suggest that merely considering a future lockdown affects people’s intended adherence and institutional trust.
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- Intended adherence
- Political orientation