Many restrictions now target the unvaxxed. Beyond public health arguments, a behavioral logic is increasingly used ("we need to pressure them!").

But be warned: This logic comes with great costs.

A 🧵 on almost 2 years of research on the societal impact of the pandemic. (1/10)
A pandemic is an excessively severe crisis. Beyond the health consequences, one of the main causalities is trust in the political system. We have tracked government support across countries. And it drops as the crisis unfolds:…. (2/10) Image
Our research shows that this decreasing trust is driven by feelings of fatigue, which again is driven by restrictions and the time that passes as the pandemic drags on and on and on: (3/10) Image
This fatigue is a facilitator of true radicalization:…. The psychological burden fuels hatred towards the system & support for political violence. Pandemic-specific terrorist plots have aldready been identified (…). (4/10) Image
Our research shows that those who are unvaccinated are those that are most likely to feel fatigued and those who in general trust the authorities the least:…. (5/10) Image
Accordingly, communicating restrictions as attempts to "force" the unvaccinated into compliance will strengthen those very sentiments that created suspicion of the vaccines in the first place: Fatigue and mistrust. (6/10)
This will be further accelerated by conflict between citizens themselves. Our research shows that those who themselves comply are likely to morally condemn those who are unvaccinated, especially if they personally fear infection: (7/10) Image
Behavioral pressure may succeed with the short-term mission of getting more people vaccinated. But the question is: What are the wider societal costs after the pandemic? Trust has been highlighted as key during this crisis. This strategy will decrease trust for some. (8/10)
The dilemma is real: A long period of restrictions for the vaxxed majority will also decrease their trust. And many will feel condemnation justified. But, alas, there is no quick fix. As waning vaccine immunity makes clear, we will struggle with this for some time. (9/10)
A pandemic is a total crisis. Beyond health concerns, managers need to deal with the economic and societal impact of the crisis. Part of the latter is to buffer eroding solidarity. In this regard, it is key to talk social conflict down, not up. (10/10)

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More from @M_B_Petersen

4 Dec
Would we have dealt better with COVID-19 without social media?

The idea of an "infodemic" may suggest so.

As a social media researcher involved in the covid-response, my answer is a strong "no". To react, info needs to be faster than the virus. On social media, it is.

In a history of epidemics, Rosenberg describes patterns extraordinarily similar to now ( With one difference: This time countries could react *before* "bodies accumulated". Part of the reason: Rapid information-sharing via media & social media. (2/8)
E.g.: Whistleblowers in Wuhan used social media to warn.(…). Also, the #FlattenTheCurve hashtag helped billions understand what needed to be done. 2 things spread across the globe in 2020: COVID-19 & the idea of distancing. The latter was quicker. (3/8)
Read 8 tweets
1 Dec
🚨What motivates parents to vaccinate their child against COVID-19?

Evidence from 🇩🇰 shows that parents balance concerns of side-effects & motivations to normalize society & childrens lives:

Concern is higher among parents of younger children. 🧵(1/6)
We surveyed 791 parents of Danish children aged between 6 and 15, recruited via random population sampling. Overall, vaccination willingness were high (& likely overestimated due to sampling bias) but depended crucially on the age of the child. (2/6)
To understand the considerations underlying these decisions, we developed a stepwise theoretical model of the vaccination decision and measured a range of considerations. (3/6)
Read 6 tweets
27 Nov
The world closes its borders to Africa after the detection of VOC Omicron.

Our research shows it will be easy to garner public support. In fact, the African origin may increase support, as support is partially tied to prejudice.

Communicators need to tread carefully.

In 2020, we conducted a massive study (N>67,000) on support for increased border control across 8 Western countries (…). In most countries, it was high. (2/7) Image
This support was driven by a coalition of those always against immigration & those personally fearful of covid. Thus, the biggest predictors are being right-wing and being personally (not socially) concerned about covid. (3/7) Image
Read 7 tweets
23 Nov

Are there costs to using pressure to increase COVID-19 vaccinations?

In Denmark, even mild pressure *decreased* trust among the unvaxxed with 11 %-points. This may reduce compliance with other advice & fuel dissent.

We use a difference-in-differences design on the basis of daily surveys of trust and vaccination status in Denmark. On Nov 8 2021, a press conference announced that covid passports were re-introduced, in part, to make life of the unvaxxed "more burdensome". (2/4)
Among the unvaxxed, this lead to a decrease in their trust in the political strategy of handling the COVID-19 pandemic with 11 %-points. This group was already low in trust but the announcement decreased it further. The vaxxed had high and unchanged levels of trust. (3/4)
Read 4 tweets
11 Nov
Når #dkmedier spørger mig, om en eller anden restriktion kan presse folk til at tage vaccinen, så svarer jeg "sikkert". Men jeg bliver også bekymret for de spørgsmål, der ikke stilles.

Lad mig forklare hvorfor. Svaret findes i vores forskning det seneste halvandet år.

En pandemi er en krise fra øverste hylde. Tilliden til regeringen - i Danmark og i udlandet - falder måned for måned, som krisen går frem. (2/11)
Vores forskning viser, at faldet i tillid drives af tiltagende udmattelse, der igen drives af restriktioner og tiden, der går, efterhånden, som krisen trækker ud: (3/11)
Read 11 tweets
6 Nov
🚨New paper🚨

Why do people condemn others during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Rapid norm change is almost always related to moralization. But do people condemn to protect themselves or to protect others?

Spoiler alert! It is about self-interest:

Moralization is related to norm changes. One well-studied example is smoking (…). Moralization and condemnation are tools humans as social animals use to incentivize others to change behavior (…). (2/10)
The pandemic requires rapid changes. Using surveys collected from April '20 to Nov '20 in 8 countries (🇺🇸 🇩🇰 🇫🇷 🇬🇧 🇸🇪 🇩🇪 🇭🇺 🇮🇹), we ask if this led people to also engage in moralization? Yes! The majority find it justified to blame and condemn those that do not comply. (3/10)
Read 10 tweets

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