Study shows how COVID-19 changed Americans’ values and activities

A new UCLA-led study decisively confirms findings of research published earlier this year, which found that American values, attitudes and activities had changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patricia Greenfield, a UCLA distinguished professor of psychology and senior author of both studies, said the results indicate that Americans’ activities, values and relationships have begun to resemble those found in small, isolated villages with low life expectancy — such as an isolated Mayan village in Chiapas, Mexico, that she has studied since 1969.

For example, according to the survey, people said that compared with pre-pandemic times, they are now more likely to be growing and preparing their own food, conserving resources, demonstrating less interest in financial wealth and showing greater appreciation for their elders. The researchers found all of those shifts are a function of Americans’ increased focus on survival and their isolation during the pandemic.

The study also found that during the pandemic parents expected their children to help out around the home — for example, by cooking for the family — more than they did before the pandemic.

Among the other findings:

  • Respondents reported that, as compared to before the pandemic, they were thinking substantially more during the pandemic about death and dying — including their own mortality and that of their family members, making wills and where they intended to be buried, for example.
  • People said they felt greater appreciation for their family and for elderly people during the pandemic than before.
  • While study participants said they were more focused than before on having enough money to cover basic needs like food and shelter, people were generally less focused on the goal of becoming rich.
  • Respondents reported an increase in the amount of time they spent on activities with other members of the household — shared meals and conversations.

The entire article can be found here.

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