Warmth and Competence Perceptions of Key Protagonists Are Associated with Containment Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from 35 Countries

Maria-Therese Friehs*, Patrick F. Kotzur, Christine Kraus, Moritz Schemmerling, Jessica A. Herzig, Adrian Stanciu, Sebastian Dilly, Lisa Hellert Dilly, Doreen Hübner Dilly, Anja Rückwardt Dilly, Veruschka Ulizcay Dilly, Oliver Christ Dilly, Marco Brambilla, Jonas De Keersmaecker, Federica Durante, Jessica Gale, Dmitry Grigoryev, Eric R. Igou, Nino Javakhishvili, Doris KienmoserGandalf Nicolas, Julian Oldmeadow, Odile Rohmer, Bjørn Sætrevik, Julien Barbedor, Franco Bastias, Sebastian B. Bjørkheim, Aidos Bolatov, Nazire Duran, Andrej Findor, Friedrich Götz, Sylvie Graf, Anna Hakobjanyan, Georgios Halkias, Camellia Hancheva, Martina Hřebíčková, Matej Hruška, Shenel Husnu, Kamoliddin Kadirov, Narine Khachatryan, Francisco G. Macedo, Ana Makashvili, Maylin Martínez-Muñoz, Eric Mercadante, Luiza Mesesan Schmitz, Andreas Michael, Nozima Mullabaeva, Félix Neto, Joana Neto, Merve Ozturk, Svitlana Paschenko, Agnieszka Pietraszkiewicz, Charis Psaltis, Yuting Qiu, Mirjana Rupar, Adil Samekin, Katharina Schmid, Sabine Sczesny, Yiwen Sun, Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen, Aleksandra Szymkow, Enoch Teye-Kwadjo, Claudio V. Torres, Luc Vieira, Illia Yahiiaiev, Vincent Yzerby

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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It is crucial to understand why people comply with measures to contain viruses and their effects during pandemics. We provide evidence from 35 countries (Ntotal = 12,553) from 6 continents during the COVID-19 pandemic (between 2021 and 2022) obtained via cross-sectional surveys that the social perception of key protagonists on two basic dimensions—warmth and competence—plays a crucial role in shaping pandemic-related behaviors. Firstly, when asked in an open question format, heads of state, physicians, and protest movements were universally identified as key protagonists across countries. Secondly, multiple-group confirmatory factor analyses revealed that warmth and competence perceptions of these and other protagonists differed significantly within and between countries. Thirdly, internal meta-analyses showed that warmth and competence perceptions of heads of state, physicians, and protest movements were associated with support and opposition intentions, containment and prevention behaviors, as well as vaccination uptake. Our results have important implications for designing effective interventions to motivate desirable health outcomes and coping with future health crises and other global challenges.
TidsskriftScientific Reports
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Published online 8 December 2022.


  • Human behaviour
  • Lifestyle modification