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Nature: How COVID is changing the study of human behaviour

The pandemic is teaching us key lessons about crisis, communication and misinformation, and is spurring changes in the way scientists study public-health questions. Many were eager to apply their work towards understanding the public response to practices such as lockdowns and mask mandates The Behavior Change For Good Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia was testing nudges that encourage people to get the influenza vaccine. Katherine Milkman, a behavioural researcher at the university’s Wharton School, and her colleagues tested around 20 messaging strategies — everything from jokes to direct appeals. “We’re seeing things that work,” Milkman says. They’ve found, for example, that texting people to say a flu shot had been reserved especially for them boosted vaccination rates. Read more at Nature.