Scientists, doctors and public health officials recommend social distancing, handwashing, staying home when you are sick, and other measures as important means of slowing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.  Our research and others suggests that making information self-relevant and socially relevant to receivers can increase the chances that these important messages are shared widely and adopted by the public.  The more people who share, the faster healthy behaviors become the norm, and in this way interpersonal influence can really make or break the effects of mass message campaigns.  

Research suggests it will help spread good information if you DO:

  • Speak up and encourage your friends and family to follow important health measures like washing hands often and social distancing where possible (recognizing that not everyone has the luxury to be able to work from home)
  • Give your endorsement (e.g., “Like”) and boost the reach of evidence-based resources
  • Highlight examples of people (including yourself) doing the right thing

Research suggests that it is better to spotlight people and organizations who are doing the right thing than to highlight large numbers of people doing the wrong thing– making it seem normal to do the wrong thing can backfire and make the negative or unhealthy behavior seem socially acceptable. Please focus on spreading information about people who are leading by example and following the important health measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CDC’s guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with other people
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often
  • *CN Lab Adds: Don’t share drinks, eating utensils, smoking paraphernalia (like vapes, bongs, and pipes), or anything else that touches your mouth, since COVID-19 is transmitted through saliva.

The brain is a window to understand attitude and behavior change at the individual, group, and population levels


At our lab

We believe that our science is better with a diverse team. We embrace and encourage our lab members’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our lab members who they are.