Despite increasing infection rates and massive limitations of public life, the majority of people in Germany is positive, according to a health-psychological study by the University of Konstanz, that the corona situation can be overcome within a year – and that the situation will already improve within a quarter of the year. The study has found out that the economic damage for Germany is seen as more gravely in the long run than health consequences. The majority of the 2,400 persons asked expect Germany to recover from the crisis faster than other countries. Since 2 February 2020, the EUCLID study led by Konstanz psychologist Professor Britta Renner has been following the toughening coronavirus situation in Germany and around the world. Initial results and visualizations for Germany have now been published on the website and will be updated regularly in the coming weeks.
“The aim of our study is to provide a factual basis for the public debate which currently is more based on opinions”, explains Britta Renner about the reasons for the EUCLID study. The ongoing survey focuses on four developments over time: The subjective health condition of the people, the perceived risk posed by the coronavirus, the resulting personal protection measures as well as the assessment of the future developments in the coronavirus situation.
Increasing alertness and readiness for vaccinations
The study documents a rapidly increasing alertness within the population: At the beginning of February, only one percent of the persons asked feared a coronavirus infection; now the figure is 32 percent. At the same time, the disease is assessed as less severe: At the beginning of February, 31 percent of the persons asked assessed COVID-19 as a serious threat to their health, by March this figure has decreased to 18 percent. Most people think that the risk of infection is higher for other persons than for themselves”, says Dr Karoline Villinger from the research team.
The readiness to get a vaccination against the coronavirus, should a vaccine be available, has increased from 24 percent to 52 percent since the beginning of February. The vast majority confirmed to have changed their health behaviour since the outbreak of the epidemic. Nine out of ten persons asked take active protection measures to slow down the spread of the virus.
Consequences for Germany
Around two thirds of the persons asked expect that the situation in Germany will significantly improve within the next three months, but only a quarter expects that development worldwide. Only nine percent fear the situation will last a year or longer.
“The majority of the persons asked expect that people in Germany face less severe health and economic consequences than other countries. The economic consequences resulting from this crisis are seen as more grave in the long run than health consequences”, says Britta Renner: 76 percent of those asked expect severe economic damage for Germany, but only 25 percent expect serious health consequences.
The EUCLID study was conducted by the research unit “RiskDynamics” (FOR 2374), which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz. The survey is continuing. All interested persons can participate in the online study:
German questionnaire: https://cutt.ly/umfrage-euclid
English questionnaire: https://cutt.ly/survey-euclid
- EUCLID study at the University of Konstanz on the public perception of the corona-situation and related risks.
- Director of the survey: Professor Britta Renner, professor of psychological assessment and health psychology at the University of Konstanz.
- Director of data visualization: Professor Daniel Keim, professor of data analysis and visualization at the University of Konstanz.
- Ongoing, non-representative study in the course of the corona-situation with 2,374 participants since 2 February 2020 (70 percent female, average age 34 years, 46 working, 45 percent in school, training or at university).
- The results of the study are published and updated online (in English) at: https://euclid.dbvis.de/
- To participate in the survey: See questionnaire in the blue box
- Project conducted by the research unit “RiskDynamics” (FOR 2374), which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz.