Psychology and Neuroscience Faculty Database
Psychology and Neuroscience
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > pn > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 

Publications [#358299] of Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

search PubMed.

Journal Articles

  1. Sinclair, AH; Hakimi, S; Stanley, ML; Adcock, RA; Samanez-Larkin, GR (2021). Pairing facts with imagined consequences improves pandemic-related risk perception.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 118(32), e2100970118. [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/12/09)

    The COVID-19 pandemic reached staggering new peaks during a global resurgence more than a year after the crisis began. Although public health guidelines initially helped to slow the spread of disease, widespread pandemic fatigue and prolonged harm to financial stability and mental well-being contributed to this resurgence. In the late stage of the pandemic, it became clear that new interventions were needed to support long-term behavior change. Here, we examined subjective perceived risk about COVID-19 and the relationship between perceived risk and engagement in risky behaviors. In study 1 (n = 303), we found that subjective perceived risk was likely inaccurate but predicted compliance with public health guidelines. In study 2 (n = 735), we developed a multifaceted intervention designed to realign perceived risk with actual risk. Participants completed an episodic simulation task; we expected that imagining a COVID-related scenario would increase the salience of risk information and enhance behavior change. Immediately following the episodic simulation, participants completed a risk estimation task with individualized feedback about local viral prevalence. We found that information prediction error, a measure of surprise, drove beneficial change in perceived risk and willingness to engage in risky activities. Imagining a COVID-related scenario beforehand enhanced the effect of prediction error on learning. Importantly, our intervention produced lasting effects that persisted after a 1- to 3-wk delay. Overall, we describe a fast and feasible online intervention that effectively changed beliefs and intentions about risky behaviors.

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * Faculty * Staff * Grad * Postdocs * Reload * Login