Pubblichiamo i contenuti sul tema della The British Psychological Society.

Coronavirus – Psychological perspectives

Several psychologists are actively working on the response to Covid-19, and psychological theory / research is relevant in many ways… this page will serve as a growing resource collecting and linking to those contributions.

In this evolving online resource, we will link to contributions from those considering the implications of the coronavirus outbreak, and collect together links to coverage elsewhere.

Click on the headlines to read the coverage.

Will we also attempt to update this page with current priorities for discussion, and suggestions for where psychology could be making a practical difference.

If you are working in this area or would like to write about research you consider of relevance, please email us on

Written for us…

Don’t personalise, collectivise!
Stephen Reicher and John Drury

Social psychology of the coronavirus: Will flies save us?
Olivier Klein on the role of ‘nudge theory’ in the UK government response.

Can we make jokes about coronavirus?
Sophie Scott on the time for humour in response to crisis.

‘All interventions must stand up to scientific scrutiny’
Ella Rhodes hears from Professor Brooke Rogers OBE

The outbreak shows us the psychological makeup of our society
Dr Evangelos Ntontis Lecturer in Social Psychology (Canterbury Christ Church University) 

‘Supported isolation is likely to be particularly stressful’
Our journalist Ella Rhodes spoke to Dr Holly Carter and Dr Dale Weston, Public Health England.

Keep calm, and listen to the experts
Chris Keyworth

The truth about panic
Stephen Reicher, John Drury and Clifford Stott on narratives around buying.

OK, Not-OK in times of pandemic
Giovanni Felice Pace takes an existential perspective.

Current ‘hot topics’ in terms of psychological theory, research and practice

We’ll amend this occasionally to reflect what is being talked about…

Many psychologists are signing an open letter calling on the government to share their evidence for the concept of ‘behavioural fatigue’ around social distancing measures. In this articleUlrike HahnNick ChaterDavid LagnadoMagda Osman, and Nichola Raihani explain the reasoning behind their letter. Plus more from Nick Chater in The Guardian.

There’s also a lot of discussion on Twitter around whether the UK government strategy is being driven by psychology, or the ‘nudge theory’ approach encapsulated in the work of the Behavioural Insights Team, and whether there is a difference. Encompassing both of these areas is an emerging theme of openness, transparency and trust in the goverment.

Get involved

What can psychology, psychologists – and The Psychologist – do to make a practical difference in such challenging times?

In this Twitter thread, we’re wondering whether our followers can come up with the top 10 evidence-based ways to maintain and even boost important social identities, even in a time of ‘social distancing’. Add your suggestions!

Elsewhere… added in chronological order since the start of the outbreak

Susan Michie has been appointed to the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavioural Science to support the Cabinet Office Briefing Room. In this BMJ blog, she argues that behavioural science must be at the heart of the public health response.

Also, the Real World Behavioural Science podcast has Michie in conversation with Professor Jim McManus.

The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it, from Dr Samanthan Brooks and colleagues.

Daniel Jolley writes for the Conversation on how the spread of this new virus is proving to be a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theories. Jolley also contributes to this piece on why people are faking coronavirus stories, alongside Ken Rotenburg and Santosh Vijaykumar.

Epidemics expert Jonathan Quick talks about the likely contribution of ‘vaccine hesitancy’, and the problem that ‘fake news’ is generally free whereas reliable sources of information are behind paywalls.

The Independent considers how to curb anxieties over the virus.

Chris Cocking tweets about how media use of the term ‘panic buying’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, including this 2012 blog. See also ‘Don’t let coronavirus tip society into panic‘, featuring several psychologists. Also this on ‘how you can calm down’.

Coronavirus – how to stop the anxiety spiralling out of control, by Jo Daniels (University of Bath).

What can scientists do in an emergency lockdown? A blog from Dorothy Bishop.

Why do men wash their hands less than women? Plus more toilet psychology.

A resource on talking to children about coronavirus.

The UN Inter-agency Standing Commitee (IASC) Reference Group for Mental Health & Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (MHPSS) has published guidance on managing the psychological impact of an epidemic.

Insights on social distancing, from the APA.

‘Behavioural scientists’ form new front in fight against coronavirus, with comment from the excellent health psychologist Susan Michie… there is a lot of talk in the media / on Twitter at the moment about the role of the UK Government Behavioural Insights Team, whether ‘nudge theory’ is driving strategy, and whether it is ‘real’ behavioural science.

One of the very best explanations of the UK government strategy, and the assumptions and risks around it, is from psychologist Professor Ian Donald. Other important threads / tweeters to follow include Vaughan Bell and Tom ChiversThis thread from Stuart Ritchie contains very useful replies from Vaughan Bell on the published evidence for the idea that people would ‘fatigue’ during social isolation.

Dr Simone Schnall (University of Cambridge) with a new blog on ‘Coronavirus – A view from behavioural science’.

Dr Chris Cocking with another blog on the social psychology – “we can get through this crisis if we work together”.

Interview with Clinical Psychologist Dr Aiysha Malik about mental health during the crisis.

Dr Terri Apter on the volatility of psychological models in a pandemic.