Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 4-19-2022


Stump, Jessica. Examining the Impact of Political Identification and Morality on Compliance with COVID-19 Public Health Measures. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. April 2022.


Copyright Jessica Stump 2022


COVID-19 provides a unique opportunity to study the influence of individual and group differences on beliefs and behavior. In the present work, we examine COVID beliefs and behavior as a function of morality, ideology, and emotion. Data were collected in the spring of 2021 and the fall of 2021, allowing for distinct snapshots of an undergraduate sample at two periods of the pandemic. Of primary interest was the relationship between political ideology, moral foundation endorsement, and COVID-19 behaviors and beliefs. The results reveal that ideology drives COVID-19-related beliefs and behaviors. The results from Study 2 suggest that political liberals were more likely to be vaccinated than conservatives. Liberals were also found to report more anxiety and anxiety-motivated behavioral changes. Liberals reported higher levels of uncertainty, threat, and anger regarding the pandemic than conservatives in our sample. There was no statistically significant difference in concern over social and economic impacts of the pandemic. Finally, liberals were found to report more concern about health impacts than conservatives.