This study aims at identifying the tools necessary for COVID-19 health emergency management, with particular reference to the period following the first lockdown, a crucial phase in which it was important to favor the maintenance of protective behaviors. It also aims at identifying the messages and sources that were most effective in managing communication correctly in such a crucial phase that is likely characterized by a fall in perceived health risk and a simultaneous rise in perceived economic and social risks. Knowing what source will be most effective to convey a specific message is fundamental in enabling individuals to focus on and comply with the rules. At the same time, it is necessary to understand how the message should be presented, and the relationships between messages, sources and targets. To meet these goals, data were collected through a self-administered online questionnaire submitted to a sample of undergraduate students from a University in Lombardy–the region most affected by the pandemic in the first wave-, and to a national sample composed of Italian citizens. Through our first manipulation which explored the effectiveness of social norms in relation to different sources, we found that, in the national sample, the injunctive norm conveyed by the government was the most effective in promoting behavioral intentions. By contrast, among the students, results showed that for the critical group with a lower risk perception descriptive norms, which implicitly convey the risk perception of peers, were as effective as the government injunctive norm. Our second manipulation, identical in Study 1 and 2, compared four types of communication. The neutral condition was the most memorable, but no condition was more effective than the others. Across all message types there was a high intention to adopt protective behaviors. The results indicate possible applicative implications of the adopted communicative tools.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.617315
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,132
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Emotions.Nico H. Frijda - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
Heuristic Decision Making.Gerd Gigerenzer & Wolfgang Gaissmaier - 2011 - Annual Review of Psychology 62:451-482.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,508,491 of 2,454,754 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,241 of 2,454,754 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes