People who supported their government’s pandemic restrictions such as masks, quarantines and social distancing were also more likely to believe that people who got sick with COVID-19 deserved it, according to a new study.
Researchers in Japan looked at the idea of “belief in just deserts” — the idea that someone’s poor choice meant that a bad thing should happen to them — and how that related to the general attitudes about COVID-19 infections.
“The results were surprising,” Michio Muraki, the study’s lead author from Osaka University, said in a news release. “We found that individuals who strongly agreed with government restrictions on individual behavior during public emergencies were more likely to believe in just deserts.”
Men were much more likely than women to believe in just deserts regarding COVID infections, as were unmarried individuals and people without children.
However, the study said that there was no significant association between the belief in just deserts and where a person lived, their educational background or their job. Surprisingly, those who felt the virus was a threat to their health had little correlation with those who thought people who became sick got what was coming to them.
“Belief in just deserts was negatively associated with risk perception and positively associated with human rights restrictions,” the study reads.
Researchers conducted an online survey in Japan in August 2020 with a total of 1,207 respondents between the ages of 20–69. The results were published in the journal PeerJ on Monday.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.
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