Compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines: Active vs. passive risk takers

Ruty Keinan, Tali Idan, Yoella Bereby-Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In 2020, most countries around the world adopted various measures aimed at combating the coronavirus (i.e., COVID-19), or reducing risky behavior which may spread the virus. In the current study (N = 215), we examined compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines using a risk-taking perspective, differentiating active from passive risk taking. In the corona context active risk taking involves actions that may cause disease contraction, such as shaking hands, while passive risk taking involves the acceptance of risk brought on by inaction, as in not using an alco-gel disinfectant. We found that personal tendencies for passive and active risk taking predicted passive and active corona related risk taking, respectively. Furthermore, compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures was also related to differences in self-control, with low Initiation self-control predicting passive corona risk taking and low levels of Inhibition self-control predicting active corona risk taking. Thus, while not complying with Covid-19 prevention measures put people at risk, differentiating between active and passive risks is helpful for accurate prediction of each type of risk behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Compliance
  • Passive risk
  • Self-control
  • Time perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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