Graduation Date

Fall 2021

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Ethan Gahtan

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Amber Gaffney

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Amanda Hahn

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



The current Coronavirus pandemic has yielded an abundance of concerns regarding the psychological effects of isolating a highly social species through widespread lockdowns and enhanced social distancing. Research show that many are suffering from mental health crises, while also refusing to isolate (Brooks et al., 2020; Czeiler, et al., 2020). These behaviors combine to increase risk of viral infection. An emerging term to explain this paradox is “Caution Fatigue”. Yet, there is no research that outlines its specific underlying mechanisms. The goal of this paper is to propose a series of models that delineate caution fatigue through the effects a) uncertainty b) the stereotype content model (Fiske et al., 2002) and c) group identification have on predicting the inhibition of risk perception through disgust. While caution fatigue is not ultimately observed, the conditions which one is willing to engage or mitigate risk are discussed. Unmasked faces are found to be viewed in a more negative affective state than masked faces which lends to increased feelings of group identification alongside uncertainty to promote feelings of disgust and risk. The findings presented here lack to perfectly encapsulate caution fatigue, but there is evidence of xenophobia against members of Asian heritage. Observations and implications are explained further.

Citation Style