Exploring the General Attitudes of an Infectious Disease

Document Type


Publication Date



Clinical Psychology


As the CDC and WHO provide sobering calls to prepare for the Coronavirus to become a pandemic, it is important to examine individuals' attitudes surrounding this outbreak. Public reactions towards infectious disease outbreaks within the United States have historically taken the form of irrational panic, fear, and disgust (Kam, 2019; Miller, 2006). Such reactions can lead to "othering" individuals. The process of "othering" provides an arguably false sense of protection to an individual by de-identifying themself from a group that appears to be risk for particular health concerns (de Beauvoir, 1949; Kam, 2019; Said, 1978; Weis, 1995). The current study aims to examine the general attitudes on the rural Midwest university in relation to the spread of the Coronavirus. It is hypothesized that individuals will report a high level of fear of the Coronavirus and thus, embrace the act of "othering" as a way to cope with this fear.

First Advisor

Beth Boyd

Research Area

Clinical Psychology

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