Self-Assessment Data May Be Significantly Skewed During Global Health Crises

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Rian Mehta


In the field of social science, a significant portion of psychological research is based on participant perceptions, not only of situations, but also of themselves. Understanding how people view themselves, rate their abilities, and feel about themselves is a valuable part of the body of science. Data collections in these fields help produce a better understanding of human performance, help authors build theoretical models, and can even be used in predictive studies to help understand decision making. The significance of this form of data is not disputed. However, both subjective and objective measures of one’s self, are likely to be significantly skewed when there is a global crisis occurring. This poses a problematic situation for researchers. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issues associated with this potential shift, and to discuss options for researchers endeavoring to perform studies during times of global crisis, such as the global Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.

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