Using a novel approach, in this work, we establish an association between self-reported compliance with COVID-19 preventive behaviors and fear of the virus with morbidity rates (i.e., actual tests and their outcome). In two nationally representative samples that were collected in Israel during the first (April 2020: N = 507) and second (August 2020: N = 515) waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants responded to items assessing their compliance with the COVID-19 preventive behaviors and their fear of contracting the virus. Participants' compliance and fear self-reports served as a proxy for morbidity rates. Specifically, we assessed the association between sociodemographic variables (gender, age, or belonging to a minority group), self-reports, and morbidity rates (as reported in publicly open databases of the Israeli health ministry). We found that self-reports of compliance and fear were mirrored and aligned with actual morbidity rates across sociodemographic variables and studies. By establishing a clear connection between specific behavior (i.e., compliance with covid regulations) and emotion (i.e., fear of getting infected by the virus), self-reports and sociodemographic variables represent a real related phenomena (i.e., covid 19 morbidity rates), our findings overall validate numerous studies that used self-reports to assess compliance with COVID-19 preventive behaviors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by an Israel Science Foundation grant number 1699/17 to Eliran Halali. We thank Michal Feldman and Yuval Feldman for their insightful comments on the development of the second study.
© 2023 The Authors. Social and Personality Psychology Compass published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- morbidity rate