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The Next Web

How studying our reaction to coronavirus can help us fight climate change


Climate change and COVID-19 are the two most significant crises faced by the modern world – and widespread behavior change is essential to cope with both. This means that official messaging by the government and other authorities is critical. To succeed, leaders need to communicate the severe threat effectively and elicit high levels of public compliance, without causing undue panic.

But the extent to which people comply depends on their psychological filters when receiving the messages – as the coronavirus pandemic has shown. Read More

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Engadget

App tracks mental health by studying your phone usage


About 300 people are currently testing PROSIT, roughly half of which are patients.

Before you ask: the scientists are well aware of the privacy concerns involved in tracking many of the things you do online. Use of the app requires signing a consent form, and the data is stored in a secure location. You’re unlikely to see unrestricted use as a result, if just because the potential for stealing profile data is very real.

Still, apps like this could be useful for addressing mental health. While PROSIT doesn’t provide a complete picture of a person’s mental wellbeing, it could help psychologists track and better understand their patients’ development outside of sessions — important during a pandemic, when patients might only have periodic telehealth calls. This could lead to more targeted and effective treatments, at least for those patients who agree to be tracked in the first place. Read More