That's why we have trouble sticking to Corona rules

That’s why we have trouble sticking to Corona rules

Max Friedrich was interviewed for an article on SRF News that looks at why people struggle to stick to the Corona rules.

One main aspect Max Friedrich points at is peer pressure that influences people’s behavior. This was one of the main results of a study by Ranas Ltd., the ETH domain’s water research institute Eawag and the ETH. “One important finding is that the Swiss strongly orient themselves to how others behave. So the sense of social norm plays a role,” explains environmental scientist Max Friedrich in the article.

That's why we have trouble sticking to Corona rules


Do the others wash their hands? Do they keep their distance? Do they isolate themselves? People find it difficult to comply with measures if they don’t have the feeling that everyone around them is complying with them.

Another psychological aspect is helplessness. People who feel that they cannot implement the behavioral recommendations often do not even try. This is where self-management comes into play: “Those who are very aware of their own intentions also manage better in everyday life,” says Friedrich.

A keyword he coins is “Corona-friendly advance planning“: Friedrich recommends planning your daily routine in advance in a “corona-friendly” way: for example, you can put disinfectants, masks and handkerchiefs next to your house key and thus be prepared.

It’s also helpful to plan your coping strategies, that is thinking about how you will behave in a certain situation, such as shaking hands, he says. “If you think in advance about how you’re going to react in a situation, you can recall the plan and act accordingly.” Everyone can to do this for her- or himself and make an individual plan.

Read the full article here (German).


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