1. This study investigated the change in risk perception, perceived self-efficacy and the perceived trust in the behaviour of others, the decisions of health authorities and government provisions, as well as the variation of self-restraint behaviours during the spread of Covid-19 in Italy.
2. Results showed that significant changes occurred in risk perception, self-efficacy, social responsibility, interpersonal trust and trust in health authorities over time.
3. Personality traits and locus of control were identified as predictors (positive and negative) of perceived self-efficacy and a mediation model of trust was tested on the effect of risk perception on self-restraint intentions.
The article “Perception of Risk, Self-Efficacy and Social Trust during the Diffusion of Covid-19 in Italy” is a well written piece that provides an overview of how individuals perceive risk, their level of self efficacy and their trust in health authorities during a pandemic such as Covid 19. The article is based on research conducted with 707 university students from central Italy between February and March 2020. The article provides evidence to support its claims by citing previous studies on similar topics such as avian influenza or other crises/disasters. It also discusses personality factors that can play a role in predicting psychological health during a crisis such as locus of control scores which can help individuals cope better with potentially threatening situations.
The article is reliable overall but there are some potential biases to consider when reading it. For example, it does not provide any information about participants who did not take part in the study or those who declined to answer certain questions which could have affected the results obtained from this research. Additionally, since this study was conducted with university students from one area only it may not be representative for all Italian citizens or people living elsewhere around the world who may have different perceptions regarding risk or trust levels due to cultural differences or other factors. Furthermore, while discussing pro-social vs selfish behavior it does not explore counterarguments which could have provided more insight into this topic.
In conclusion, this article provides an interesting overview on how individuals perceive risk and their level of trust during a pandemic such as Covid 19 but there are some potential biases to consider when reading it such as lack of information about nonparticipants or unexplored counterarguments when discussing pro-social vs selfish behavior which could have provided more insight into this topic.