University of Twente Student Theses


Investigating Dutch Adolescent Citizen’s Compliance with the 1,5-meter Policy in Small Social Settings

Vlutters, A.J. (2021) Investigating Dutch Adolescent Citizen’s Compliance with the 1,5-meter Policy in Small Social Settings.

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Abstract:Since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has become a threat to our safety on many aspects of our lives. Governments needed to set policies to overcome this and increase the safety of their citizens. Compliance with the policies plays an important role in decreasing the threat. It was found that citizens aged 18-24 comply the least with the 1,5-meter policy in small social settings in The Netherlands. Persuasive communication can be used as a tool to increase compliance rates. It was therefore investigated if a particular persuasive communication strategy could be used to increase the compliance among this group for this setting. Two posters were made using fear appeal. One of the two posters contained an additional strategy, namely ‘acknowledging resistance’, to lower the reactance towards change that might be experienced in the recipients of fear appeal. It was expected that the poster with the combination of strategies would increase the intention to comply and improve the attitude towards the policy. A control group, who were not presented with a poster, was also added to check if the posters had an effect at all. This made a total of three conditions: fear appeal condition, combination condition (with fear appeal and ‘acknowledging resistance’), and control condition. The manipulation check indicated that the two posters did not significantly differ from the control group, meaning that manipulation did not have the intended effect. Statistical analysis showed there were no significant differences in attitude and intention to comply and between the three conditions. This contradicts current findings of the effectiveness of fear appeals. This strategy might not be the most effective to increase compliance of Dutch adolescent citizens with the 1.5-meter policy in small social settings as the manipulation did not have an effect. It is therefore important that the effect of other persuasive communication will be investigated, as a high compliance rate is beneficial for the safety of the citizens during the pandemic.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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