ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (5): 497-515.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00497

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


黄丽芹, 孙寅, 罗思阳()   

  1. 中山大学心理学系, 广州 510006
  • 收稿日期:2021-05-14 出版日期:2022-05-25 发布日期:2022-03-23
  • 通讯作者: 罗思阳
  • 基金资助:

The impact of individualism on the efficiency of epidemic control and the underlying computational and psychological mechanisms

HUANG Liqin, SUN Yin, LUO Siyang()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2021-05-14 Online:2022-05-25 Published:2022-03-23
  • Contact: LUO Siyang


COVID-19疫情是一场重大的全球健康危机, 一些国家在控制COVID-19感染和死亡率上存在明显困难。我们提出, 个人主义的文化价值观不利于对疫情的控制。跨文化分析结果显示, 个人主义文化价值观正向预测COVID-19死亡数、每百万死亡数和死亡率, 独立自我建构负向预测疫情前期控制速度。演化博弈模型和跨文化实验进一步提示, 个人主义文化通过增强个体在疫情背景下的死亡恐惧, 增加个体违反疫情管控的流动性倾向, 从而降低了整体疫情控制的效率。我们的结果支持自然-行为-文化协同进化的理论模型, 提示文化对COVID-19病毒传播管控和死亡可能性的影响, 为各国应对全球公共卫生危机提供了重要科学参考。

关键词: 文化, 个人主义, 违规流动, 政府规范, 疫情控制, Agent Based Modeling, 死亡恐惧


Ecology can shape the formation of a particular culture through individual natural adaptive behavior. In different cultures, culturally contextualized behavior can also modify the environment. In the present ecological environment, the spread of COVID-19 represents a global public health crisis. However, some nations appear to be more effective at limiting the spread of the virus and decreasing mortality rates. The purpose of this study was to explore cross-cultural differences in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby substantiating the influence of culture on the ecological natural environment. We hypothesized that an independent society-oriented culture was not conducive to a successful pandemic response.
Study 1 explored the correlation between individualism and the total number of deaths, deaths per million, and morality rates in 73 countries. In Study 2, we further modeled the cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 over time in 31 provinces in China, using a logistical model to obtain indicators of efficiency of epidemic control, and we explored the relationship between independent self-construal and the speed of pandemic control. In Study 3, we simulated the pandemic process through agent-based modeling (ABM), which verified the influence of individualism and determined how government norms regulated the controlling speed of the pandemic. Based on ABM in Study 3, in Study 4, we used a hierarchical linear model to further explore how culture influenced escape behavior, which violated government regulations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic with, and then we tested the mediating role of fear of death.
In Study 1, individualism scores were positively correlated with cumulative COVID-19 deaths, cumulative deaths per million, and mortality. In Study 2, independent self-construal was negatively correlated with the controlling speed in the early stage of the pandemic in China. However, there was no significant relationship between interdependent self-construal and COVID-19 pandemic control speed. Study 3 simulated the process of the pandemic through an agent-based model and found that individualism was positively correlated with the number of confirmed cases and deaths and was negatively correlated with the speed of the early controlling stage, which was regulated by government norms. In Study 4, we found that individualism can increase the degree of escape behavior when individuals are facing the COVID-19 pandemic. This process was mediated by fear of death.
This paper revealed the influence of culture on the ecological environment from the perspective of pathogen prevalence, thereby verifying the nature-behavior-culture coevolution model. It also provides important predictors for countries to respond to the global public health crisis. In a more complex dynamic interaction network combining nature, culture, behavior, brain and genes, culture interacts with other factors and may help to explain ecological changes in history, as well as the course of human history, social development and human behaviors.

Key words: culture, individualism, illegal mobility, government regulation, epidemic control, Agent Based Modeling, fear of death