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Preventive vs Reactive Actions & God: Choices & Thoughts in Difficult Situations

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Culture, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Social Impacts

In this project, we aim to investigate the relationship between belief in a God and taking reactive rather than preventive actions. A strong belief in God, and specifically an all powerful God who has control over what happens in the world, can make people feel that their actions have little effect on external events. Such individuals are likely to be more fatalistic and see things that happen outside of their control as part of God's plan or inevitable consequences of His actions. So when a large scale event, such as climate change or the current pandemic happens, they are less likely to feel that their actions, like social distancing, can prevent an act of God from taking place. They are thus more likely to prioritize reactive actions that take place after the event, such as treating patients or sending aid. We expect this effect to occur after controlling for other factors like political identity and knowledge of the COVID-19 situation.