Social norms highlighted in 2018 survey remain just as important today, Health News & Top Stories


SINGAPORE – The results of a 2018 survey of the most sought-after social norms – carried out by associate professor Leong Chan-Hoong, now working at the University of Social Sciences in Singapore – are as relevant today as they are. once, said the professor.

The survey of 3,000 Singaporeans, conducted in August and December 2018, found that removing standing water to prevent mosquito breeding was the most desired standard among Singaporeans, followed by refraining from spitting. or littering in public and smoking only in designated areas.

Associate Professor Leong Chan-Hoong noted that these standards continued to remain relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic, in which health and hygiene are important, and the resurgence of dengue.

“People are always so aware of the importance of these civic standards, but I would expect more people to take active steps to encourage those around them to do the same, especially when the importance of such a socially responsible behavior is at the fore, ”he said. .

For example, desirable standards such as refraining from spitting in public now carry much greater weight than before, as the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, is spread through respiratory droplets.

Unsurprisingly, removing standing water to prevent mosquito breeding was seen as the most desirable social norm in 2018, as there was a sharp increase in dengue fever that year with 3,285 cases reported. .

As the number of dengue infections surpassed 10,000 this year, Prof Leong noted that the concerns were just as valid then today.

He hoped this would lead to more civic behavior in individuals such as those taking active steps to remove standing water in common hallways and their neighborhoods.

In the 2018 survey, only 28.2 percent of those polled rated cleaning one’s own plates in hawking centers as “very important.”

But Prof Leong suggested giving this more thought, as restaurant dining will soon be allowed as Singapore moves into phase two of reopening the economy.

He said: “There are two factors at play here. There is the sanitary dimension of keeping public spaces clean and hygienic, but also the dimension of civic awareness, like cleaning up after oneself to lighten the load on the cleaners, where the underlying engine of empathy may not be as important.

“It’s a good habit that may require more awareness, and more targeted messages could be promoted to induce more socially desirable behavior among the audience.”

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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