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The uncertainty of the future has caused increased levels of panic and challenged many individuals’ mental health stability. GRI Faculty Affiliate, David DeSteno has provided much needed guidance on the best practices to combat fear and anxiety that may be caused by the never ending COVID-19 pandemic news.

David DeSteno is a Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University whose research focuses on the impact affective states have on decision making and behavior. Read his publications and featured interviews over the past few weeks about COVID-19 below.

Op-Ed: How to mix compassion and cooperation into social distancing – “Resilient societies are able to bounce back from disruptions. The capacity to rebuild physical infrastructure is, of course, important after calamity strikes. But resilience also requires shoring up social infrastructure, the ties that bind us together.”

Here’s how to combat the fear caused by a barrage of COVID-19 news – “The constant inundation of emotionally fraught images and information about the disease can drive a dramatic increase in our sense of fear, giving our minds the impression that we’re under constant threat, says David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern.”

Coronavirus and the contagion of fear – “David DeSteno is a psychology professor at Northeastern University who’s studied how fear can drive us batty. “We’re supposed to be the rational animal,” he said. “But there’s a lot going on in your head that’s kind of under your conscious radar.”

How this psychologist suggests we manage COVID-19 fears – “As cancellations, closures and medical concerns within the U.S. and across the globe suspend our daily routines, fear and anxiety also rise. It’s difficult to avoid worrying, but it can be helpful to understand when fear is actually counterproductive to wellbeing. Jeffrey Brown talks to David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern University who studies periods of stress and trauma.”

Forget panic and angry mobs. During disasters like COVID-19, all we want to do is help – “David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern University, says that when a disaster strikes, it’s rare to see panic, looting or other anti-social behaviour. “What we find is that in general, the greater percentage of people tend to engage in a kind of co-operative altruism. The phenomenon is called ‘altruism born of suffering.’”