Global Behaviors and Perceptions in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Global Behaviors and Perceptions in the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Thiemo Fetzer, Marc Witte, Lukas Hensel, Jon JachimowiczJohannes HaushoferAndriy IvchenkoStefano CariaElena ReutskajaChristopher RothStefano FiorinMargarita GomezGordon Kraft-ToddFriedrich M. GoetzErez Yoeli


We are collecting and making publicly available data from a large-scale online survey about COVID-related behaviors, beliefs, perceptions, mental health, and more, covering respondents from more than 170 countries. The data was collected via snowball sampling starting March 20, 2020 through a survey instrument that was translated by volunteers into 69 languages. The project offers a unique snapshot on the evolution of behaviors and perceptions about the pandemic on a global scale in the early and accelerating phases of the COVID-19 outbreak. More data collection is ongoing.

Key Findings

First, many respondents indicate that their country’s citizens and government’s response was insufficient. Second, respondents’ perception of an insufficient public and government response and handling is associated with lower mental well-being. Third, researchers exploit time variation in country-level lockdown announcements, both around the world and through an event-study in the UK, and find that strong government actions—e.g.,announcing a nationwide lockdown—were related to an improvement in respondents’ views of their fellow citizens and government, and to better mental well-being. These findings suggest that policy-makers may not only need to consider how their decisions affect the spread of COVID-19, but also how such choices influence the mental well-being of their population.

Link to Results

Link to the working paper

Project Data Collection Mode

  • Web

Link to Data Collection Instruments

Link to Public Data

Results Status