Probably the most cited paper in social science, 2020.

School of Psychology academics co-author important COVID-19 paper in Nature Human Behaviour.

“Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response” has over a thousand citations (Google Scholar) since its publication in Nature Human Behaviour in April 2020, making it one the most cited papers in social science right now.

The paper acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis and that it places significant psychological burdens on individuals, it therefore requires large-scale behavioural change. This paper reveals insights collated from research findings across the social and behavioural sciences. These findings are useful to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts as well as to manage the impact of these recommendations.

The paper, co-authored by 42 academics including Karen Douglas and Aleksandra Cichocka from the School of Psychology at Kent, covers research on topics such as conspiracy theories, fake news, leadership, threat perception, prejudice, discrimination, risk perception, social norms, political polarisation, compliance, group co-operation, culture, and social inequality.

“While efforts to develop pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19 are under way, the social and behavioural sciences can provide valuable insights for managing the pandemic and its impacts. We discuss topics that are broadly relevant to numerous stages of the current pandemic to help policy-makers, leaders and the public better understand how to manage threats, navigate different social and cultural contexts, improve science communication, align individual and collective interests, employ effective leadership and provide social and emotional support.”

You can read the entire paper here.