Why people adopt beliefs and behaviors is a central question in the behavioral sciences. In this case, behavior can be the difference between reducing or increasing the spread of infection during a pandemic. We would like to extend a congratulations to Zack Almquist, whose year-long study on the adoption of behaviors and beliefs during an epidemic has received funding from the NSF. In these times of risk and uncertainty, sociologists are facing a unique but brief window to study the transmission and spread of behavioral responses, from small changes such as washing one's hands, to larger interventions such as lock downs across the country. Using contagion models that simulate the effects from changes in behavior, as well as survey data, the study may provide insights for improving public-health interventions, compliance, and stemming the spread of misinformation. What we learn can provide answers to this and future crises.
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