Coronavirus: what makes some people act selfishly while others are more responsible?

The advance of COVID-19 has triggered a broad-scale mission of “responsibilisation”. This means that political leaders, health experts and even celebrities, neighbours and loved ones have called upon us all to act responsibly in order to slow the spread of the virus, and to minimise the damaging effects of the pandemic

I am a researcher of consumer responsibilisation, which means I study how consumers come to accept – or reject – personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions. For example, my work looks at how culturally prevalent views on, and emotional reactions to, social problems affect consumer responsibilisation – as well as how consumers can be motivated to accept responsibility. This work has inspired me to consider current developments in COVID-19 from this particular vantage point.

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