:In this paper, we analyse the difference between two types of behavioural policies – nudges and boosts. We distinguish them on the basis of the mechanisms through which they are expected to operate and identify the contextual conditions that are necessary for each policy to be successful. Our framework helps judging which type of policy is more likely to bring about the intended behavioural outcome in a given situation.
Based on an ad hoc online survey about risk perception and preventive behaviours, we describe three chronological phases related to how people in Germany perceived the Corona pandemic between March 22 and May 10, 2020. In general, participants reported to be less concerned about their own risk than about the risk faced by others. However, a good portion of those who thought that they themselves were low risk actually wrote about their belief that they nevertheless had a responsibility to behave (...) in ways that benefited others, even if it came at a cost to themselves. In loose reference to Immanuel Kant’s notion that humans have a rational duty to act in a socially responsible manner, we interpret people’s comments about other-regarding behaviour as an initiation of a Kantian tendency during the Corona pandemic. Based on these findings, we suggest that policy makers may do better in times of crisis than nudging, incentivizing, or compelling the public by law. They can perhaps accomplish more by nurturing people’s innate sense of the need for socially responsible action to be taken in order to meet the daunting challenges of present and future crises. (shrink)
A first impression matters, in particular when encounters are brief as in most doctor-patient interactions. In this study, we investigate how physicians’ body postures impact patients’ first impressions of them and extend previous research by exploring posture effects on the perception of all roles of a physician – not just single aspects such as scholarly expertise or empathy. In an online survey, 167 participants ranked photographs of 4 physicians in 4 postures. The results show that male physicians were rated more (...) positively when assuming open rather than closed postures with respect to all professional physician roles. Female physicians in open postures were rated similarly positive for items related to medical competence, but they tended to be rated less favorably with respect to social skills. These findings extend what is known about the effects of physicians’ body postures on the first impressions patients form to judge physicians’ medical versus social competencies. We discuss practical implications and the need for more research on interaction effects of body postures and physician gender on first impressions. (shrink)