This Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant will investigate how American households have adapted their attitudes and behaviors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the end goal to help a rapid and stable recovery. Virtually overnight, a large fraction of American households has transitioned from a reality of long commutes, in-person classes and business meetings, and in-store shopping to one of telecommuting, online classes and business meetings, and online shopping ? even for groceries. Many of these changes were happening already, but COVID-19 has pressed the fast-forward button. Not all American households have been affected in a similar fashion, however, bringing about many questions. In particular, this grant will help answer four questions. (1) How are different socio-economic segments of the U.S. population changing their attitudes and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) To what extent are current (during pandemic) behaviors likely to persist after the pandemic? (3) To what extent do behaviors return to before pandemic patterns within the one year time period of this study? (4) How do attitudes and perceptions evolve over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond?
The research will be pursued through a nationwide, multi-wave survey. The survey includes retrospective questions related to attitudes and behavior before the pandemic (e.g., being risk averse, attitudes toward the economy, environment, technology), and sections about current attitudes and preferences including activity and travel behavior (e.g., scheduling, commuting and discretionary travel choices pre-, during, and post COVID-19 as well as long-distance travel), socio-demographics (e.g., employment type and status, and household composition), and social networking and social behavior. Using a combination of recruiting strategies (Facebook ad and targeted emailing), the grant will help collect at least 5,000 responses, disproportionately stratified across the nation, and distributed across a variety of socio-demographics (e.g., household types, urban vs. rural, income, employment status during COVID-19). Follow-up waves will be conducted 3, 6, and 9 months after the first version of the survey has been taken to track the evolution of attitudes and behaviors over time.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.