Ideologically-based contact avoidance during a pandemic: Blunt or selective distancing from “others”?

Hodson, Gordon and Meleady, Rose ORCID: (2023) Ideologically-based contact avoidance during a pandemic: Blunt or selective distancing from “others”? European Journal of Social Psychology, 53 (5). pp. 823-845. ISSN 0046-2772

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This project sought to understand when ideology is relevant (or not) to predicting contact avoidance of ‘others’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Right-leaning ideologies (political conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation) were not expected to predict greater contact avoidance per se, but rather exhibit selective avoidance of outgroup (vs. ingroup) members. White British participated in one exploratory (Study 1 N = 364) and two pre-registered (Study 2 N = 431, Study 3 N = 700) studies. As expected, right-leaning ideologies were significantly stronger predictors of greater preferred personal distance and contact discomfort regarding foreign outgroups (vs. British ingroup) in Studies 1 and 3 (partially supported in Study 2). Ideology rarely predicted ingroup reactions. This Ideology × Target pattern was itself not moderated by the perceived COVID-19 threat. Pre-pandemic theorizing that heightened behavioural immune system responses are associated with heightened right-leaning ideologies appear insufficient for use in actual pandemic contexts, especially when highly politicized.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: This research was funded as part of a Research Fellowship to the second author from the Leverhulme Trust (RF-2019-263).
Uncontrolled Keywords: ideology,covid-19,contact-avoidance,behavioural immune system,covid-19,contact avoidance,behavioural immune system,ideology,social psychology,3* ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3207
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2023 17:30
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 09:30
DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2938


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