The COVID-19 epidemic resulted in chronic psychosocial stressors. As a result, studies have discovered a significant motivation in quantifying social and community unease to provide psychological assistance to people. This greater awareness may aid in managing the present situation and future diseases and outbreaks (Saladino et al., 2020). The security precautions used to contain the epidemic had varying effects on people, depending on their social role. Certain sections of the population appear to be more susceptible to apprehensive, depressed, and post-traumatic characteristics due to their increased sensitivity to distress (Saladino et al., 2020). Prolonged stress may manifest itself in the form of nervousness, despair, and an inability to control distressing and unpleasant emotions (Saladino et al., 2020). This paper aims at discussing the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and the social well-being of people. Additionally, the paper applies the theories of various social, behavioral, and learning theorists to help address the topic in question.
Persistent fear of infection impacts daily life and contributes to social seclusion, altering human relationships. Numerous functional and structural characteristics of social interactions have been associated with perceived well-being and isolation across the lifecycle, including late adulthood (Macdonald & Hülür, 2021). A vast social network and greater social engagement are associated with increased well-being (Macdonald & Hülür, 2021). Studies have established a strong link between social assistance and mental well-being based on functional characteristics of social connections.
Lev Vygotsky’s Changes in Thought with Guidance
In contrast to Piaget, Vygotsky thought that an individual possesses various capabilities and a range of valuable skills that can be achieved. His sociocultural perspective illustrates the significant impact of culture and contact on mental function (Vasileva & Balyasnikova, 2019). He felt that by guiding an individual, referred to as structuring, with an instructor or competent colleague, a person might acquire cognitive abilities within a limited range referred to as the zone of proximal growth (Vasileva & Balyasnikova, 2019). For example, instructing someone on how to complete a chore or demonstrating to a toddler how to clean their teeth or prepare food. They were almost certainly spoken to and shown an explanation of whatever was being accomplished. Assistance was provided when they appeared to require it, but they were left to fend for themselves after they learned.
Thus, this is scaffolding, which is illustrated all over the globe. Educators have also embraced this method of instruction. Instead of evaluating pupils based on what they are accomplishing, they should be assessed based on what they are competent in undertaking given the correct direction (Vasileva & Balyasnikova, 2019). According to Vygotsky’s strategic viewpoint, psychological thoughts are structured as hierarchical and interrelated complex behavior, accounting for an individual’s mind (Vasileva & Balyasnikova, 2019). He proposed that not all thought mechanisms originate concurrently but that a person’s present cognitive talents increase substantially (Vasileva & Balyasnikova, 2019). Because the nativist paradigm implies that cognitive factors evolve numerically, it is a-developmental from a comprehensive standpoint. If psychological skills are evident at birth and growth is understood as the quantifiable growth of computing capabilities, the nativist approach struggles to account for observed developmental variances.
Albert Bandura’s Social Behavioral Theory
Individuals perceive how their peers behave in a range of methods. The well-known Bobo doll experiment by Albert Bandura demonstrates this perception in children (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). Individuals are influenced by several influential figures in the community, including their relatives, personalities on their television, peers, and instructors at school. These designs present conduct to study and emulate, such as masculinity and femininity and pro-and anti-social behavioral patterns (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). First, the youngster is more inclined to pay attention to and copy those who appear to be comparable to themselves (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). As a result, it is more likely to emulate the actions of individuals of the same sexual identity.
Second, the individual’s environment will either promote or condemn the imitated conduct. If an individual mimics a model’s behavior and the resulting are positive rewards, the person is likely to repeat the habit (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). External or internal encouragement can be beneficial or detrimental. If a person seeks acceptance from family or teachers, this approval serves as an outward reinforcement; yet, feeling good about getting confirmation serves as an interior affirmation (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). Because individuals seek acceptance, they will act in a way that they feel will receive favor. Third, the person will consider the consequences of copying someone’s acts by considering whether or not to mimic them (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). By seeing the effects of another person’s personality, an individual can decide what to copy.
John B. Watson Behavioral Theory
Watson’s Behavioral psychology viewed psychology as an evolutionary science to predict and control behavior, an awareness for the surroundings as a predictor of conduct for social improvement by implementing experimentally verified behavioral approaches. His nuanced perspective of the nature-nurture debate underlined the importance of learning habit development in Watson’s concept for comprehending the environment’s effect on behavior and improving forecasting and behavioral control (Kwon & Silva, 2020). Apart from facilitating learning to the scientific psychology community, Watson suggested that theoretically confirmed behavioral guidelines may be used to a wide variety of significant social demands and challenges (Kwon & Silva, 2020). His connection of prediction and prevention to practical implementation in human thought implies that his motivation for learning broad and specific strategies for people to manage their conduct was to create social change (Kwon & Silva, 2020). The social change created was meant to benefit society and enhanced life for its members.
Effects of the Pandemic on the Psychological and Social Well-being of Individuals
When examining the psychological effect of isolation, it became clear how critical it is for people to develop a sense of belonging to society, a facet of cognitive well-being that is sometimes overlooked. First, medical professionals feel that social isolation is the more important way to prevent the spreading virus (Saladino et al., 2020). Although the length of a virus cannot be predicted, people are well aware of the profound consequences these parameters have on the community, on interconnections, and particularly on the emotional experience. Outbreaks such as SARS, Ebola, and the present COVID-19 virus demonstrate that the psychological impacts of transmission and isolation are not confined to the dread of getting the virus (Saladino et al., 2020). Second, suicidal activities are typically associated with rage accompanied by the stressful environment that afflicted many persons who resided or continue to live in the most affected environments (Saladino et al., 2020). In light of these outcomes, a thorough assessment of the quarantine’s possible advantages is required, considering the substantial psychological expenditures.
Third, in the broad sense, parents witnessed anxiety and depression modifications in their children during the isolation. Issues associated with concentration difficulties (76.6%), loneliness (52%), anxiety (39%), agitation (38%), nervousness (38%), disconnectedness (31.3%), awkwardness (30.4%), and worries (30.1 %) (Saladino et al., 2020, p. 2). Lastly, overburdened health workers experienced a significant amount of psychophysical distress (Saladino et al., 2020). Healthcare providers also regularly undergo a traumatic medical condition called ancillary traumatic stress disorder (Saladino et al., 2020). This affliction defines the unpleasantness encountered in the therapeutic alliance when remedies are not accessible to all clients, and the specialist must decide who can and cannot receive them.
Applications of the Behavioral Theories to the Social Well-being of People during the Pandemic
The behavioral theories help individuals’ social well-being by promoting health and avoiding bad coping practices. Psychosocial concerns and occupational anxiety are linked to adverse habits such as excessive alcohol use, excessive tobacco consumption, poor food habits, insufficient physical activity, and inconsistent sleeping habits (Weston et al., 2020). All of these activities may have a negative influence on personal health and the effectiveness of employees. Lockdowns and isolation, school closures, and restrictions disrupt typical rhythms for individuals of all walks of life, wreaking havoc on rest and sleep (Weston et al., 2020). Excess screen usage, particularly late at night, can harm the brain for those who telework. Albert Bandura’s social, behavioral theory stipulates that individuals imitate their role models (Weston et al., 2020). Individuals are set to follow the guidelines set by their healthcare sector on COVID-19 protocols to minimize its spread.
Social, behavioral theories contribute to the social well-being of individuals by compelling them to adhere to medication and receive the vaccination. Medication adherence reduces psychological problems that individuals affected by the virus underwent (Weston et al., 2020). Sticking to such procedures will assist one in coping with the negative consequences of anxiety and promoting psychological health. If someone is restricted to their home because of COVID-19, they can engage in artistic pursuits such as poetry, gardening, sculpting, and other things that keep them occupied. Looking for work with determination if one becomes unemployed will also alleviate distress.
Such dedication to daily activities will assist in managing stress and promoting mental wellness. Cognitive problems such as anxiety and emotional distress on people are minimized. Albert Bandura’s behavioral theory enumerates that people will consider the consequences of copying someone’s acts by considering whether or not to mimic them (Weston et al., 2020). By seeing the effects of another person’s personality, an individual can decide what to copy. That means that individuals will be confident of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination prescribed by the medical practitioners.
The behavioral theory that Lev Vygotsky put forward contributes to individuals’ social well-being by promoting behavior change among individuals to adapt to the new environmental status infested with the COVID-19 virus. Individuals will understand the effects of social interaction bearing in mind that the virus spreads fast through social connections (Weston et al., 2020). Lev proposes that individuals will understand a particular activity if instructed and guided through the process (Weston et al., 2020). Therefore, educating individuals on the detrimental effects of the virus and the various steps to limit its spread will enable behavior change among individuals.
Another hypothesis relevant to the COVID-19 epidemic is social cohesion, defined as assistance gained through social interactions. Social help was categorized as follows: psychological support, which necessitates the delivery of compassion, concern, and affection, and promotes self-reliance, and informational assistance, which demands the dissemination of knowledge, consultation, and instruction (Weston et al., 2020). Additionally, instrumental involvement, which entails providing substantial assistance, and appraisal help, which entails providing constructive assistance, would promote social help (Weston et al., 2020). All of these forms of social assistance are critical at this time of the COVID-19 epidemic. One requires psychological support to alleviate mental anguish; one requires informational help to stay current on illness, resource, and opportunity changes (Weston et al., 2020). An individual requires instrumental aid in terms of physical assets and appraisal assistance in managing the epidemic and its impact on one’s life.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on individuals’ cognitive and social well-being in society. Some of the detrimental effects it has had on people include healthcare providers regularly undergoing a traumatic medical condition called ancillary traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, suicidal activities are typically associated with rage accompanied by the stressful environment that afflicted many persons who resided or continue to live in the most affected environments. However, cognitive theorists’ behavioral theories have significantly helped individuals cope and adjust to the new environment impacted by the virus. For instance, the behavioral theory that Lev Vygotsky put forward contributes to individuals’ social well-being by promoting behavior change among individuals to adapt to the new environmental status infested with the COVID-19 virus. Despite the crucial role of the behavioral theorist, greater awareness may aid in managing the present situation and future diseases and outbreaks.
Kwon, H. R., & Silva, E. A. (2020). Mapping the landscape of behavioral theories: Systematic literature review. Journal of Planning Literature, 35(2), 161-179. Web.
Macdonald, B., & Hülür, G. (2021). Well-being and loneliness in Swiss older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of social relationships. The Gerontologist, 61(2), 240-250. Web.
Saladino, V., Algeri, D., & Auriemma, V. (2020). The psychological and social impact of Covid-19: New perspectives of well-being. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2550. Web.
Schunk, D. H., & DiBenedetto, M. K. (2020). Motivation and social cognitive theory. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 60, 101832. Web.
Vasileva, O., & Balyasnikova, N. (2019). (Re) Introducing Vygotsky’s thought: From historical overview to contemporary psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1515. Web.
Weston, D., Ip, A., & Amlôt, R. (2020). Examining the application of behavior change theories in the context of infectious disease outbreaks and emergency response: A review of reviews. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-19. Web.