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Volume 31, Issue 2

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018 15:14

Research shows that a change in messaging focus would help prevent disease spread during the next pandemic

Changing public health messaging to focus on the impact of actions rather than the outcomes of actions could have significant implications for how we deal with pandemic threats, according to a new study from City University of London, the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), and Yale University.

Uncertainty about how our choices will affect others is a common occurrence in our social lives, with previous research suggesting that such uncertainty leads to solely selfish decisions and actions. However, the new study found for the first time that uncertain situations do not always lead to selfish behaviour. Appealing to people to think about the impact of such potentially harmful actions can lead to decisions which err on the side of caution. The paper is published in Nature Human Behaviour.

When it comes to social decisions, the uncertainty we face can be split into two types, known as outcome uncertainty (i.e. uncertainty about the outcomes of decisions) and impact uncertainty (i.e. how an outcome will impact another person).

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https://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/resilience-news/3069-research-shows-that-a-change-in-messaging-focus-would-help-prevent-disease-spread-during-the-next-pandemic