UCI News

NSF grant funds study of partisanship’s effect on health behaviors during coronavirus crisis

April 29, 2020
NSF grant funds study of partisanship’s effect on health behaviors during coronavirus crisis
Sara Wallace Goodman, UCI associate professor of political science, has received an NSF grant to examine how political partisanship shapes mass beliefs and individual behaviors. School of Social Sciences / UCI

Sara Wallace Goodman, UCI associate professor of political science, has received a $53,030 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how partisanship affects individual health behaviors in response to the  COVID-19 pandemic. In March and April, Goodman and her team conducted a survey that coincided with the first peak incidences and lockdown orders in the U.S. Their findings show that political differences are the single most consistent factor that differentiates behaviors such as hand washing and social distancing, as well as attitudes toward a variety of health, immigration and economic policies. “Our results will allow policymakers to better target public health messaging to those communities who are least compliant to directives and identify better ways to overcome barriers in order to better control the spread of COVID-19,” Goodman said.