Promoting the Development of Social Norms for Protecting Against COVID-19 | Fact-sheets collection from the Portuguese COVID-19 pandemic Task Force on Behavioural Sciences

Duarte Burnay Bastos, Osvaldo Santos, Margarida Gaspar de Matos


Social norms constitute collective-based expectations about what behaviours are considered proper or acceptable. They inform the decision-making process, discouraging or promoting the activation of behaviours, thus representing a major and strategic public health determinant. Individual and collective protection against COVID-19 is inherently associated with social norms related to behaviours such as maintaining physical distance in public spaces, ensuring air circulation (opening windows) when meeting with other than nuclear relatives (i.e., from the household), or using masks. This paper briefly goes over some of the psychosocial mechanisms associated to the development of social norms.


COVID-19 vaccine; Adherence; Evidence-based policies; Policy brief

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