NYC shoppers 4 times more likely to frequent stores adhering to social distance guidelines

Cornell University
11-Aug-2020 11:15 AM EDT, by Cornell University

Newswise — ITHACA, N.Y. – New York City residents are four times more likely to choose a store where shoppers respect 6 feet of distancing as opposed to one where no one is social distancing, according to an experiment by Cornell University researchers conducted using a 3D simulation.

Ricardo Daziano, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is principal investigator on a one-year, $102,700 RAPID grant from the National Science Foundation to use immersive virtual reality (VR) to continue assessing New Yorkers’ perceptions of social distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

“We want to understand how people are making decisions based on compliance with the health guidelines,” Daziano said. “Until a vaccine is developed, policymakers need to not only find the best incentives for people to avoid physical proximity, they also need to create plans for relaxing social distancing in the future. The behavioral forecasts from the models developed in this project will help guide those decisions.”

The preliminary experiment was conducted online with New York City residents in May, before the city entered phased reopening. At the time, shoppers frequently needed to wait in line outside grocery stores so the stores wouldn’t exceed a limited capacity. The researchers found that the amount of distance mattered: respondents were four times more likely to choose stores where shoppers were spaced 6 feet apart in line, and 2.6 times more likely to choose those with 4 feet of space, as opposed to stores where they weren’t socially distanced at all. 

New York City residents were 1.5 times more likely to choose a store where shoppers were wearing masks – a significant result, but much lower than their preference for stores with social distancing. Daziano said this result may well change in future studies, as more evidence has emerged about the benefits of wearing masks.

In the next wave of experiments, participants will experience social distancing scenarios using head-mounted VR displays. The researchers will then construct mathematical models to analyze how people with varied backgrounds and political affiliations change their behavior in response to health threats.

The researchers plan to survey city residents about different scenarios to gauge their perception of reopening as it occurs. For example, asking people to choose whether they’d rather sit indoors or outdoors at a restaurant – where the tables inside are much farther apart than the outdoor tables – could reveal valuable information about how people assess risk. 

“From a policy perspective, understanding that will help us plan or maybe redesign the reopening of businesses,” said Daziano. “We want to understand who is more likely to respect health guidelines, what the risk perceptions are in public spaces and how we can create incentives for individuals to sustain social distancing, so we can help guide decisions.”

For additional information, see this Cornell Chronicle story.


Filters close

Showing results

110 of 3468
Released: 1-Oct-2020 9:40 AM EDT
Scientists at Texas Biomed develop new tool to aid in the development of SARS-CoV-2 antivirals and vaccines
Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Researchers apply a novel reverse genetics approach to create recombinant SARS-CoV-2San Antonio, Texas (October 1, 2020) – Researchers at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) recently published findings from an innovative SARS-CoV-2 study that will assist in the development of new vaccines and antivirals for COVID-19.

Released: 1-Oct-2020 9:30 AM EDT
COVID-19 Study Retractions Drive Research Transparency Partnership and Push for Increased Publication of Negative/Null Findings
Wolters Kluwer Health

Together, The Center for Biomedical Research Transparency (CBMRT), the American Heart Association (AHA) and Wolters Kluwer continue to address the issue of publication bias – and the importance of publishing research with negative findings – by launching the Null Hypothesis Initiative for all of the AHA's 12 peer-reviewed, scientific research journals.

Released: 1-Oct-2020 8:20 AM EDT
The GovLab and the IDB bring innovative ideas to Latin American government officials
New York University

The Governance Lab at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) share the results of the first two “Smarter Crowdsourcing in the Age of Coronavirus” online sessions

Released: 1-Oct-2020 8:15 AM EDT
How (and Why) Steak-umm Became a Social Media Phenomenon During the Pandemic
North Carolina State University

A new study outlines how a brand of frozen meat products took social media by storm – and what other brands can learn from the phenomenon.

Released: 1-Oct-2020 5:05 AM EDT
Relationships at home during the COVID-19 pandemic continue to improve, reports USC Center for the Digital Future
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

In spite of the stress from COVID-19 and stay-at-home restrictions, many Americans continue to say the relationships with their spouses and children have improved during the pandemic, a study by the USC Center for the Digital Future (CDF) has found.

28-Sep-2020 5:20 PM EDT
Leading Argonne Scientists Discuss Latest Research on Cybersecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Argonne National Laboratory

Hear firsthand from two of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory’s scientific leaders how their research provides insight into cyber resilience and cybersecurity to help secure our nation’s information and systems.

Newswise: Computer Model Shows How COVID-19 Could Lead to Runaway Inflammation
Released: 30-Sep-2020 9:05 PM EDT
Computer Model Shows How COVID-19 Could Lead to Runaway Inflammation

New research from the University of Pittsburgh and Cedars-Sinai digs into the question: Why do some people with COVID-19 develop severe inflammation? The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Newswise: Cardiac Arrest, Poor Survival Rates Common in Sickest Patients with COVID-19
29-Sep-2020 5:05 PM EDT
Cardiac Arrest, Poor Survival Rates Common in Sickest Patients with COVID-19
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

Study shows critically ill patients with the novel coronavirus have high rates of cardiac arrest and poor outcomes even after CPR, an effect most strongly seen in older patients.

Newswise: 244463_web.jpg
Released: 30-Sep-2020 3:45 PM EDT
Investigational COVID-19 vaccine well-tolerated, generates immune response in older adults
NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

A Phase 1 trial of an investigational mRNA vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection has shown that the vaccine is well-tolerated and generates a strong immune response in older adults.

Newswise: Tufts University to lead $100M program to reduce risk of zoonotic viral spillover, spread
Released: 30-Sep-2020 2:10 PM EDT
Tufts University to lead $100M program to reduce risk of zoonotic viral spillover, spread
Tufts University

Tufts University will lead a $100 million, five-year program to understand and address threats posed by zoonotic viral diseases that can “spill over” from animals to humans, such as SARS-CoV-2, in an effort to reduce risk of infection, amplification, and spread, USAID announced today.

Showing results

110 of 3468