Why Even the Most Reasonable People You Know Are Bending Covid Safety Rules

Some of the most ardent pandemic rule-followers have made bafflingly unsafe decisions in group settings over the past six months, and in part as a result, small group gatherings have been responsible for a significant portion of Covid-19 spread. “It’s not because we’re irrational,” says Donelson Forsyth, Ph.D., a social psychologist at the University of Richmond who studies group behavior and moral judgment. “It’s because we’re social creatures.” Social forces have a strong hold on us and shape our choices even when we know better — sometimes even when we don’t actually want to be doing what we suddenly find ourselves doing.

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