Initially, the characteristics of COVID-19 were unknown and many people were frightened. Experiencing the fear (risk) of being infected is one factor that triggers a person to take preventive behavior. In behavioral change, a message that emphasizes fear--for example, "being infected is horrible, so let's behave in a manner to prevent infection"--is called "fear appeal". There are many studies on fear appeal in health behavior, and previous studies indicate that fear appeal alone has a limited effect on behavioral change, and that it therefore needs to be combined with other factors4).
Currently, I am collaborating with researchers at other universities to conduct a psychological study of factors that influence behavior aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection. In addition to risk perception, our research focuses on factors such as confidence in engaging in a behavior, the degree to which taking action helps reduce the risk of infection, and social norms. We use statistical analysis to examine the combination of these factors. Furthermore, we conduct analysis in order to obtain useful information on related incentives and environmental developments that will increase confidence in engaging in behavior.
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Chuo University
Areas of Specialization: Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, and Health Psychology
Nanako Nakamura-Taira was born in Fukuoka Prefecture and raised in Saitama Prefecture. She is a certified clinical psychologist and a licencd psychologist. She holds PhDs in the human science and medicine.
In 1997, she graduated from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University.
In 1999, she completed the Master’s Program in the Graduate School of Human Sciences, Waseda University.
In 2002, she acquired credits necessary for completion of the Doctoral Program in the Graduate School of Human Sciences, Waseda University.
In 2019, she assumed the position of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Letters, Chuo University, and assumed her current position in 2020.