The Behavioral Science of COVID-19

Aline Holzwarth
Head of #BehavioralScience at @ptrnhealth. Principal of @advncdhindsight with @danariely. MBA. #digitalhealth #psychology http://alineholzwarth.com

Take a deep dive into The Behavioral Science of COVID-19 with this hand-curated series of 10 time-tested articles and videos from around the web. We’ll guide you through, one link per day, in the app or in your inbox.

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When the world was hit with the global coronavirus pandemic, behavioral scientists worked quickly to understand what was going on in the minds of people all over the world and, more importantly, what they could to to help people behave in ways that serve the best interests of public health and their own well-being.


Aline Holzwarth is an applied behavioral scientist, specializing in digital health research and scientifically informed product design. Her training in psychology and business, and experience working in research and healthcare have given her the interdisciplinary lens necessary to appreciate the complexity of decision-making in the real world. Aline is Head of Behavioral Science at Pattern Health and Principal at Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University.


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  • Mask-Wearing Needs to Be Easy, Understood and Expected and 9 other articles
  • Average reading time: 4 minutes
  • Topics covered: coronavirus, behavioral economics
  • Read or listen to articles
  • From sites like The New York Times, Behavioral Scientist, POLITICO, and more
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Glad to see you made it all the way through this Deep Dive. We hope you found it useful and can put some of the insights to good use in your own daily life.

How does it work?

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Day 10
Level up!

Deep Dives are carefully hand-curated series of time-tested articles and videos from around the web.

We’ll guide you through, one link per day, in the app or in your inbox.

Deep Dives come in bites that are short enough to fit in your day...

...but add up to a satisfying learning experience.

If your well-being has taken a hit due to the pandemic, you’re not alone. Fortunately, a wealth of research in behavioral science points to strategies that can help you feel a bit better. 

Aline Holzwarth

Behavioral science has much to say about the passage of time in the coronavirus pandemic, where routines have been disrupted and people’s lives turned on their heads.

Aline Holzwarth

If you want to get out of your quarantine funk, insights from behavioral science can help you achieve a fresh start.

Aline Holzwarth

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the financial security of Americans, particularly those on the lower end of the income ladder. A universal basic income could help.

Aline Holzwarth

You might be surprised that many people are making better financial decisions during the coronavirus pandemic than they do in normal times.  

Aline Holzwarth

One key behavior in preventing the spread of the coronavirus is handwashing. Behavioral scientists weigh in on strategies to promote better hygiene through handwashing. 

Aline Holzwarth

One major difference between Hong Kong and the United States is the relative popularity of masks in Hong Kong. To get Americans to wear masks, we should do three things: Make wearing a mask easy, understood and expected.

Aline Holzwarth

The global effort to create a coronavirus vaccine is unprecedented, but behavioral scientists worry that uptake will not be high enough even if a safe, effective vaccine is created. 

Aline Holzwarth

Humans have a difficult time understanding risk, and an even more difficult time grasping exponential growth. This fundamental aspect of human nature has contributed to a poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and could foreshadow similar challenges with the impact of climate change. 

Aline Holzwarth

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