Since the start of the corona crisis, and the lockdown measures associated with it, the group of UGent psychologists has been charting figures about the motivation of the population to comply with these measures. The motivation base for the measures, 81 percent at the start, crumbled week after week, peaking after the difficult press conference of April 24.
At the end of April, only 51 percent supported the measures. Now, however, there is good news to report and there is an increase to 58 pc. “The main reason will be the motivational communication of the past few days,” Vansteenkiste suspects. “Immediately after April 24, the government was found to be very demanding, the communication was inconsistent and the government received little support. Last week they again made the mistake about the mouth masks and nothing was clear. But since the end of last week, when the confusion surrounding the face masks had cleared up, government communication was once again perceived as more motivational The introduction of face masks and an explanation of why this caused people to dwell on their motivation, which helps explain why voluntary motivation has increased slightly since 1 May . ”
A second explanation for the increased motivation is undoubtedly the relaxation of the measures themselves. “The confirmation of the announced easing last week gave the population the necessary motivational oxygen,” the study reads. “Thanks to the relaxation, the population is regaining some of its lost freedom. The people who return to work come into contact with a wider social network, which means that the batteries can be recharged. Thanks to this renewed energy, the population can remain make an effort. ”
The National Security Council will meet again on Wednesday, so the researchers at Ghent University hope that the government will continue to have the positive momentum of the past few days. “In the past, communication from the Security Council always proved to be a motivational pivotal moment,” it sounds. “We therefore formulate concrete advice for the government to inform and encourage the population in a motivating way to continue this ‘people’s marathon’.”
Then the researchers of the department of developmental psychology at Ghent University think of a few things, which they have also communicated to those involved. “Organize three different press conferences, each in a different national language. Keep it limited to a maximum of 15 minutes. Attention slackens after 15 minutes, even earlier,” says Vansteenkiste. “Be transparent, make a distinction between the why, the what and the how of the measures, and above all show gratitude to the population in your press time. But, for example, cities and municipalities can also send a thank-you card with the delivery of mouth masks. motivation for the better and finally show your human side. “
Finally, the researchers point out that every citizen must question himself. “Reflect critically on your own motivation. By clarifying the added value for following measures for yourself, the measures will be anchored more deeply. They will become part of your new lifestyle. Make yourself aware that if you follow the measures, you will demonstrates solidarity. You protect not only your own health but also that of your neighbors and other citizens. Not only COVID-19 is an infectious virus, that is also the case for the motivation of the population, “it sounds philosophically.