Journal article

A social identity perspective on COVID-19: Health risk is affected by shared group membership

Tegan Cruwys, Mark Stevens, Katharine H Greenaway

British Journal of Social Psychology | WILEY | Published : 2020


In the face of a novel infectious disease, changing our collective behaviour is critical to saving lives. One determinant of risk perception and risk behaviour that is often overlooked is the degree to which we share psychological group membership with others. We outline, and summarize supporting evidence for, a theoretical model that articulates the role of shared group membership in attenuating health risk perception and increasing health risk behaviour. We emphasize the importance of attending to these processes in the context of the ongoing response to COVID-19 and conclude with three recommendations for how group processes can be harnessed to improve this response.