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How evolutionary behavioural sciences can help us understand behaviour in a pandemic

Arnot, M; Brandl, E; Campbell, OLK; Chen, Y; Du, J; Dyble, M; Emmott, EH; ... Zhang, H; + view all (2020) How evolutionary behavioural sciences can help us understand behaviour in a pandemic. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health , 2020 (1) pp. 264-278. 10.1093/emph/eoaa038. Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought science into the public eye and to the attention of governments more than ever before. Much of this attention is on work in epidemiology, virology and public health, with most behavioural advice in public health focusing squarely on ‘proximate’ determinants of behaviour. While epidemiological models are powerful tools to predict the spread of disease when human behaviour is stable, most do not incorporate behavioural change. The evolutionary basis of our preferences and the cultural evolutionary dynamics of our beliefs drive behavioural change, so understanding these evolutionary processes can help inform individual and government decision-making in the face of a pandemic.

Type: Article
Title: How evolutionary behavioural sciences can help us understand behaviour in a pandemic
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/emph/eoaa038
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eoaa038
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: behavioural ecology, cultural evolution, COVID-19, lockdown, social distancing, behaviour change
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10113200
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