At the time we’re previous the dread phase, exactly where do we place the blame for the COVID-19 pandemic?

In a time of a world wide crisis these as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is straightforward to observe how people transfer via unique phases to buckle up for these kinds of unparalleled and arduous occasions.

In the extremely commencing of the pandemic last yr, we noticed “an epidemic of fear”, exactly where it was all about the calamitous mother nature of a completely unfamiliar virus and its stressing contagiousness and mortality fee. A couple of months later, with lockdown and limitations presently in location across the planet, the fear was replaced by “an epidemic of explanations”, the place folks even in their naivety, started off to search for a perception of convenience by placing the blame on somebody or something out of their regulate.

This is why a research staff at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Polish Academy of Sciences sought to figure out irrespective of whether the authorities was indeed the key culprit for the unfold of the COVID-19 pandemic in the eyes of the community. Soon after all, it equipped finest the part of an actor of greater authority, allegedly impressive enough to safeguard the neighborhood and take care of the concern at hand and present the essential comfort and ease. In the meantime, it arrives as an simple concentrate on to place a finger at for ‘not carrying out enough’. On the other hand, the public could as well be detailing the predicament with the virulence of the Coronavirus or with the irresponsible conduct of many others in the society. No matter of the response, the workforce was fascinated in knowledge what’s driving one’s reasoning: was it their political views, nicely-becoming or feelings?

To exam their hypotheses, the researchers chose to perform their examine in Poland: a state presently politically divided among Liberalism and Communitarianism, with the latter being the ruling celebration at the time of the study, which took position between May and June 2020. A complete of 850 Polish adults fully diversified in terms of gender, age, and education and learning participated. The conclusions are now released in the open-obtain, peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychological Bulletin.

As a end result, the research concluded that not only was it the federal government and the system that most of the contributors attributed duty to for the COVID-19 incidence costs, but that the political views and celebration preferences of the members played an incomparably far more substantial position in their responses than variables these as nervousness, worry and depression levels or in general self-claimed properly-currently being. In fact, among the psychological health and fitness indicators, the examine located that only improved stress was statistically drastically connected to the tendency to blame the governing administration and its selections. This could be stated by the point that people encountering bigger panic ranges are a lot more most likely to exaggerate exterior responsibility, notice the experts. Curiously, the additional educated contributors had been discovered to be more very likely to emphasise governmental accountability.

On top of that, the individuals with lebaral views who did not guidance the ruling communitarian party blamed the authorities to a higher diploma than their counterparts, who would often spot the duty for the distribute of COVID-19 on non-governmental aspects.

In their review, the analysis crew uses many theories to make clear this discovering, including the Terror Management Theory, which notes that reminding folks of their mortality induces an existential risk that also potential customers to an improved want for defense furnished by worldview-centered beliefs. On the other hand, the theories of attribution and social roles propose that people today see the ‘adequate safety versus epidemic’ as element of the government’s responsibilities.

In summary, the authors remind that their observations all through the study are constant with previous stories as a final result of all-natural disasters.

“Citizens notice governmental things to do all through the epidemic period and appraise government responsibility. In the light-weight of the outcomes of earlier research on the social notion of organic disasters, we feel that this is a relatively basic phenomenon. Seeking for an explanation of the epidemic results, people have a tendency to blame salient exterior will cause,” say the scientists.


Exploration article:


Skarzynska, K., Urbanska, B., & Radkiewicz, P. (2021). Beneath or Out of Authorities Control? The Outcomes of Person Psychological Wellness and Political Views on the Attribution of Obligation for COVID-19 Incidence Premiums. Social Psychological Bulletin, 16(1), 1-21.

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Corresponding writer:

Prof. Krystyna Skarzynska&#13

E mail: [email protected]

Extra data:


About Social Psychological Bulletin (SPB):

Social Psychological Bulletin (Psychologia Spoleczna) is an open up-obtain quarterly journal that publishes original empirical investigation, theoretical assessment papers, scientific debates, and methodological contributions in the field of essential and utilized social psychology. SPB actively encourages criteria of Open Science, supports an integrative method to all facets of social psychological science and is fully commited to talking about well timed social troubles of significant great importance.

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About Leibniz Institute for Psychology Info:


The Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information and facts (ZPID) is the supra-regional scientific exploration aid firm for psychology in German-speaking nations around the world. It supports the entire scientific function method from accumulating strategies and researching literature to documenting investigate, archiving information and publishing the effects, based on an great-kind exploration cycle. It is dedicated to the concept of open up science and sees itself as a general public open science institute for psychology.&#13

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