Breaking Quarantine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Correlations Between Gen Zers’ Political Beliefs, News Source, Extraversion, and Attitudes Toward Social Distancing Behaviors


  • Karol Maybury
  • Grace McIntosh
  • Nelson Peterson
  • Brandon Martin


Gen Z, Covid 19, Social Distance, Coronavirus


Young Americans (age 18-27) (n=495) were recruited via Amazon mTurk between May 13-15, 2020 and asked about their social distancing practices, news source preferences, extraversion, support for President Trump, and beliefs about personal susceptibility to COVID-19. We hypothesized that social isolation practices, as well as judgements (pro or con) of others who fail to abide by social isolation advisories, would vary as a function of news source and political ideology. Participants’ support for President Trump was negatively correlated with 1) compliance with social-distance practices and 2) anxiety about the coronavirus, and ​positively ​correlated with endorsement of others breaking quarantine. In addition, Fox News Channel viewers were less worried about COVID-19 and socialized more frequently with those outside their household. Fox News Channel (FNC) viewers reported significantly less worry about becoming ill and reported greater frequency of unprotected face-to-face socializing than non-Fox-viewers.






Social Sciences