Motivating voluntary compliance to behavioural restrictions: Self-determination theory–based checklist of principles for COVID-19 and other emergency communications

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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2021-07-03
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Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
Series
EUROPEAN REVIEW OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Abstract
An effective response to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic is dependent on the public voluntarily adhering to governmental rules and guidelines. How the guidelines are communicated can significantly affect whether people will experience a sense of self-initiation and volition, protecting compliance from eroding. From the perspective of Self-Determination Theory, a broad theory on human motivation and its interpersonal determinants, effective communication involves the delicate combination of providing rules and structure in a caring and autonomy-supportive way. Research in applied domains from public messaging to education and health has shown that when social agents set limits in more autonomy-supportive, caring, and competence-fostering ways, it predicts autonomous forms of compliance, which in turn predict greater adherence and long-term persistence. Building on SDT, integrated with insights from social identity theory, we derive a practice-focused checklist with key communication guidelines to foster voluntary compliance in national crises such as the prevention of COVID-19 spread.
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Keywords
Autonomy-support, crisis response, interpersonal interaction, motivational style, self-determination theory
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Citation
Martela, F, Hankonen, N, Ryan, R M & Vansteenkiste, M 2021, ' Motivating voluntary compliance to behavioural restrictions : Self-determination theory–based checklist of principles for COVID-19 and other emergency communications ', European Review of Social Psychology, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 305-347 . https://doi.org/10.1080/10463283.2020.1857082