A Cross-Cultural Study of the Role of Efficacious Beliefs and Perceived Media Effects on Threat Perception in Predicting COVID-19 Compliance in China and the United States

Ran Wei, Zongya Li*, Ven-Hwei Lo, Xiaodong Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Self-centered vs. collective-oriented perceptions and beliefs have bearings on an individual’s behavior. In the context of the global coronavirus pandemic, this study attempts a cross-cultural analysis of public compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures in China and the United States. Using data collected from two parallel surveys, we explore how individualism and collectivism have affected respondents’ efficacious beliefs, perception bias and compliance behaviors. Findings show that higher self-efficacy in individualistic cultures tends to produce a wider self-other perceptual gap. Further, we found that individual-referenced variables (i.e. self-efficacy and perceived media effects on threat perception on oneself) play a stronger role in predicting public compliance in America. In comparison, collective-oriented and other-referenced measures (i.e. collective efficacy and perceived media effects on threat perception on others) are a stronger predictor of compliance in China than in the United States. The theoretical implications of the culturally rooted locus of reference (self vs. others) for compliance behaviors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalMedia Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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