Future orientation is associated with less lockdown rule breaking, even during large illegal gatherings

Martha Newson, Valerie van Mulukom, Sarah Johns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    38 Downloads (Pure)


    Critical questions for large societies revolve around whose behaviors anticipate future repercussions - be they socio-legal or health-based - and whose do not. We used an evolutionary Life History Framework with a sample of UK-based, self-defined “active” ravers (n = 506) to better understand attendance of, and behavior at, mass events where chances of infection were high during the COVID-19 pandemic. During periods of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, 42% of participants reported still attending underground raves. Just over half of these individuals wore facemasks and regularly washed their hands at lockdown raves; perhaps unsurprisingly demonstrating significantly lower levels of pandemic-compliant behavior than reported by the general public in their day-to-day lives. Nonetheless, we found that ‘active’ ravers, in general, conformed to household mixing lockdown rules significantly better than over-80 s who had received a single dose of the vaccine. Ravers reporting faster life history strategies (i.e., more focus on proximal outcomes, reduced future orientation), broke more lockdown rules at these events. Those with slower life history strategies (increased distal or future orientation) reported the greatest improvements to their wellbeing following lockdown raves. An evolutionary life history framework can be used to target campaigns encouraging norm compliance toward populations who are most likely to break important health guidelines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102883
    Early online date10 Dec 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


    • future orientation
    • life history theory
    • COVID-19
    • ritual
    • compliance


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