In the past few weeks I’ve written a series of articles for the BBC’s international website about the psychology of our reactions to the coronavirus outbreak. They are:
Why smart people are spreading lies about coronavirus
An in-depth exploration of misinformation and conspiracy theories, their consequences, and the ways we might combat them
How the fear of coronavirus is changing our minds
Humans have evolved “behavioural immune system” – automatic reactions that helped to stop the spread of disease. Today, these responses lead us to become more morally judgemental, more distrustful of outsiders, and more socially conservative – influencing our judgement on unrelated political issues such as immigration.
What makes a good leader during a crisis?
A profile of Arjen Boin, a political scientist who has studied leadership behaviours during crises such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to determine the best ways to guide a population through a disaster.
If you feel like a distraction during these difficult times, I have also published a piece in Men’s Health on “paradoxical insomnia” – an eerie but surprisingly common sleep condition caused by faulty dreams.
I was also proud to write a long-form feature on Liangzhu, an astonishingly complex “forgotten” East Asian civilisation that rivalled Mesopotamia and Egypt for New Scientist magazine.