Covid-19 studies, Our research

Living survey to track Australians’ experience of COVID-19

COVID-19 Behavioural Insights Report

To help keep track of Australians’ thoughts, feelings and behaviours during the COVID-19 crisis, and better support evidence-informed policy responses, BehaviourWorks researchers collaborated with colleagues around the world to develop and conduct a ‘living survey’ with 1,246 Australians.

The researchers asked people across all age groups a series of targeted questions to determine how their behaviour had changed as a result of the messages they had received. They asked people where they turned to for information, who they trust to fix the problem and their general beliefs about the virus. 

The team also asked people a series of questions about their emotional and mental wellbeing. 

The results reveal that while Australians have largely adopted protective hygiene and social distancing behaviours, many hold grave concerns about loneliness, selfishness and the economy.

Among the many fascinating findings, also published in The Conversation, is that young people are generally more concerned than older people about becoming infected and the health system being overloaded. They were also more concerned about loneliness and unemployment.

The researchers have now translated all the findings into a Behavioural Insights Report, which includes a series of recommendations that authorities can use in a  practical manner to improve the health of all Australians.

The ‘living’ component of the survey relates to the fact that the researchers are planning to do several follow-ups to see how behaviour has changed over time.

Research team: Alexander Saeri, Research Fellow, BehaviourWorks, Emily Grundy, Research Assistant, Deakin University, Liam Smith, Director, BehaviourWorks, Michael Noetel, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Australian Catholic University and Peter Slattery, Research Fellow, BehaviourWorks.

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