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Review 1: "Ambivalence and Adherence to Measures to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19"

Published onApr 06, 2022
Review 1: "Ambivalence and Adherence to Measures to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19"

RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:

  • Reliable. The main study claims are generally justified by its methods and data. The results and conclusions are likely to be similar to the hypothetical ideal study. There are some minor caveats or limitations, but they would/do not change the major claims of the study. The study provides sufficient strength of evidence on its own that its main claims should be considered actionable, with some room for future revision.



This is an interesting series of studies. I thought overall the methods and data analysis were robust and had been pre-registered.

However, I felt the manuscript was lacking as it was not related to the wider literature. I’m unfamiliar with research into ambivalence but this seems to fit really well with current theories of behaviour change with the interplay between risk perceptions and efficacy (i.e., you need to change risk perceptions but also promote self- and response-efficacy for behaviour change to occur). It wasn’t clear how macro-ambivalence was different to these.

I have included more specific comments below.

  • Could the authors define what they mean by social distancing as this has been used to describe stay at home behaviours, avoiding crowded places and/or staying 1-2m apart from other people. (p.3)

  • Wearing masks is not a new behaviour for many Eastern countries but is new in the West (p.3 )

  • I’m not sure if the findings will be relevant to climate change and environmental behaviour as these do not pose the same immediate risk to health and we are already familiar with a lot of the recommended environmental behaviours (p.3)

  • What are examples of macro-level ambivalence related to COVID-19? (p.5)

  • The introduction as a whole seems to lack reference to theory. Is there a theory of ambivalence? Or how does this fit into existing behaviour change theories?

  • For study 3, could a footnote be added about how the translations were done and did this follow best practice?

  • How do these results fit with existing theories of behaviour change?

  • I’m unsure if this will equally apply to vaccination too as these are not unfamiliar behaviours.

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