OPSI COVID-19 Innovative Response Tracker

Stay at Home: Self-Isolating Behavior Among Young Adults During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Innovative response

Our project provides a framework that uses strategies from behavioral science and social norms to motivate millennials and Gen-Z in the United States to stay home for the common public good to minimize the spread of coronavirus. We diagnose the motivations for such behaviors using social norm theory, and then utilize behavioral insights and refer to experimental research to propose interventions that target these motivations. We also come up with ways to accurately measure the behavior pre-and post intervention.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

This solution is intended to address the common good problem of staying at home. Individuals find it more personally beneficial not to stay home for a variety of reasons, but it is in the interest of public health that individuals do so to prevent widespread transmission (Bauch & Galvani, 2013). This problem is the biggest for millennials and Gen-Z since they are less likely to be seriously affected by the disease and have less of a personal cost from not staying home but can be silent transmitters and have a huge impact on the spread of the disease.

The expected impact is that individuals will be more aware of the importance of staying at home and self-isolating, and will be motivated by the non-social and social factors of our interventions to commit to the action of staying at home.

Organisations/institutions involved

We are Cameo Hazlewood, Gwyneth Teo, Jordan Sessa and Justin Thompson from University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program. For more information about the project or potential collaborations, please contact [email protected].

Potential issues

We will continue to tweak and develop the paper, and incorporate the latest research available.

  1. We are a group of students (Cameo, Jordan, Justin and Gwyneth) from Penn Masters of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program that are working on the above paper. Do feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions, questions or ideas for collaboration!

    Email: [email protected]
    Twitter: @TeoGwyneth

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Level(s) of government:
  • National/Federal government
  • Regional/State government
  • Local government
  • International Organisation
  • Non-Profit/Civil Society

Issues being addressed:

  • Information and practice sharing (with public and/or internal)
  • Governance responses
  • Public service delivery under new circumstances
  • Social effects of the crisis

Response contact:

[email protected]