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Motivation and preference in isolation: a test of their different influences on responses to self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak

Weinstein, Netta and Nguyen, Thuy-Vy 2020. Motivation and preference in isolation: a test of their different influences on responses to self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak. Royal Society Open Science 7 (5) , 200458. 10.1098/rsos.200458

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Abstract

This multi-wave study examined the extent that both preference and motivation for time alone shapes ill-being during self-isolation. Individuals in the USA and the UK are self-isolating in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Different motivations may drive their self-isolation: some might see value in it (understood as the identified form of autonomous motivation), while others might feel forced into it by authorities or close others (family, friends, neighbourhoods, doctors; the external form of controlled motivation). People who typically prefer company will find themselves spending more time alone, and may experience ill-being uniformly, or as a function of their identified or external motivations for self-isolation. Self-isolation, therefore, offers a unique opportunity to distinguish two constructs coming from disparate literatures. This project examined preference and motivation (identified and external) for solitude, and tested their independent and interacting contributions to ill-being (loneliness, depression and anxiety during the time spent alone) across two weeks. Confirmatory hypotheses regarding preference and motivation were not supported by the data. A statistically significant effect of controlled motivation on change in ill-being was observed one week later, and preference predicted ill-being across two weeks. However, effect sizes for both were below our minimum threshold of interest.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 2054-5703
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 29 April 2020
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 09:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/132444

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