International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
optimistic bias, hypochondriasis, mass psychology, preventive behavior, COVID-19, influenza
The great challenge to global public health caused by the coronavirus pandemic has lasted for two years in Korea. However, Korean young adults seem less compliant with preventive health behaviors than older adults. This study aims to explore the relationship between risk perception variables of optimistic bias, hypochondriasis, and mass psychology, and preventive health behavior in relation to the coronavirus pandemic through a cross-sectional online survey. The participants are 91 Korean young adults aged 19–30. The results show that mass psychology has a positive relationship with preventive health behavior, whereas optimistic bias and hypochondriasis do not. In detail, people with high or middle levels of mass psychology displayed higher preventive health behavior compared with those who had low levels of mass psychology, and the highest compliance was for wearing a mask, followed by COVID-19 vaccination, whereas the lowest compliance was for influenza vaccination. These findings could be explained by the Korean culture of strong collectivism and the characteristics of COVID-19, which evoked extreme fear globally. The results of this study can be useful for policy establishment in the ongoing prevention of COVID-19 and suggest that mass psychology should be used effectively in planning preventive communication campaigns.
Lee, Dong-Suk; Koo, Hyun-Ju; Choi, Seung-Ok; Kim, Ji-In; and Kim, Yeon Sook, "Relationship between Preventive Health Behavior, Optimistic Bias, Hypochondria, and Mass Psychology in Relation to the Coronavirus Pandemic among Young Adults in Korea" (2022). Nursing Faculty Publications. 16.