New Global Study Analyzed How People Should Make Decisions About Holiday Gatherings In The Wake Of COVID-19, Influenza, And Respiratory Infections

And amazingly, no matter the country, culture, age, or political party to that the study participants belonged, nearly everyone valued others’ well-being at least equally.

“That’s encouraging. Our study and others suggest it is a universal human tendency that people believe they should care about how their behavior affects other people,” explained Leaf Van Boven, the study’s senior author.

So now, the researchers believe that similar self-reflection techniques could be applied to a range of public health goals– specifically those where in-the-moment personal benefit sometimes overshadows widespread public health and safety.

“People know that they should not text while driving, that it’s better for the planet if they take the bus instead of drive, that they should eat more vegetables and exercise, but knowing is only the first step.”

As for this year’s holiday gatherings, Van Boven stressed the importance of socialization and human connection. At the same time, though, he underscored how the key to striking a balance between socialization and public safety is taking time to weigh the potential risks and benefits.

“I would encourage everyone to develop a habit of asking themselves when they are considering any sort of large social gathering: What is the risk you might impose on other people, and is the benefit of the gathering worth the risk?” Van Boven said.

To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in Oxford Academic, visit the link here.

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