Together apart: the psychology of COVID-19

Jolanda Jetten, Stephen David Reicher, S. Alexander Haslam, Tegan Cruwys

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book provides a broad but integrated analysisof the psychology of COVID-19. The book is the product of the combined effort of four social psychologists: Jolanda Jetten(top left; Professor of Social Psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland), Stephen (Steve) Reicher(bottom left; Wardlaw Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews), S. Alexander (Alex) Haslam(top right; Professor of Psychology and Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland) and Tegan Cruwys(bottom, right; Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University). What these four social psychologists have in common is that over the last decades their research has inspired, and been inspired by, research and theory around the topic of social identity. In this, they have shown how the social identity approach helps us to understand processes as diverse as leadership, health, well-being, emergency behaviour, risk perception, stigma, inequality, stereotyping, collective action, crowd behaviour, intergroup violence, social cohesion and solidarity, populism, political rhetoric, obedience, and the psychology of tyranny.Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors have been advising a range of bodies on how to best support the COVID-19 response. They have provided input on topics including communications and messaging, adherence to lockdown and physical distancing, trust-building, leadership, public order, how to motivate people to download the COVID-19 tracing apps, and the mental health impact of physical distancing measures. They have advised the U.K.Government and the Scottish Government, the U.K.police force, and the Australian Government’s Behavioural Economics Team (BETA) in the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet. They have also been members of a number of bodies and task forces including the G08 Australian Roadmap to Recover, the Australian BroadcastingCorporation’s COVID Monitor project, the British Psychological Society COVID Coordinating Group, and the Rapid Response Information Forum on COVID-19 tracing in Australia. In this engagement with policy makers and governments it has become clear how psychological theory —and the social identity approach in particular —can help us better understand, and respond to,the COVID-19 crisis. This book is an attempt to put what they and their colleagues have been talking about over the past three months into print —so that insights from the social identity approach can contribute to public debate around the most significant world event of our lifetimes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2020


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