About this Research Topic
Why do individual differences matter, particularly in times of pandemic? Consider two scenarios here. First, a person has exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19 disease and vital signs have shown potential life-threatening conditions. Individual physicians who have similar medical training may take drastically different courses of action, because individual differences in the effectiveness of mental operations, stress and anxiety levels, or working memory capacity of physicians, can all contribute to distinct treatment options. Second, in the area of machine learning and big data, modeling increasingly has been used to make critical predictions. Individual leaders around the world may or may not believe the predictions of the various models and must make critical decisions based on their personal background (e.g sex, culture, education, religions, family relations), tolerance of ambiguity, and the tendency of risk-taking.
Many psychological theories of cognition thrive on their success to provide good fits to the performance of average humans. Recent evidence from psychological studies, system neuroscience, and molecular genetics has provided greater insights into inter-individual variations and their roles in human behavior, emotion, cognitive performance, and decision-making. The goal of this Research Topic is to explore a new understanding of psychological factors that drive specific subgroups of individuals’ behavior during a pandemic. For instance, observations and preliminary data have shown that older people are most vulnerable physically to the virus, but younger people are more anxious and fearful about the pandemic. Studies are needed to investigate the effects of differential stress and anxiety on cognitive performance and daily function. The coronavirus disease and related changes in work and life have a significant impact on most people around the world. The psychological damage and required coping strategies will persist for a long time and life may change forever.
Although the scope of the topic highly encourages COVID-19 related studies, we also welcome any psychological studies that provide insights on individual and group differences in experience, perception, cognitive performance, daily function, and quality of life. Some topics might include (but not limited to):
• Psychological survey data on individual differences in COVID-19 pandemic related stress, anxiety and coping strategies;
• Machine learning analysis and prediction on cognitive decline and daily functions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic;
• Decision-making under anxiety and stress;
• Age-related, or sex differences in daily cognitive functions and personality traits (Sensation seeking, risk avoidance, boredom susceptibility, or negative urgency);
• Big Data analysis on individuals with different cultural backgrounds and differential responses to the COVID-19 pandemic;
• Style of cognition and other variables related to the dual-process theories of reasoning;
• Individualized psychological profiles for cognitive rehabilitation of mental impairments;
• Applications of robotic technologies for protection against vulnerable groups due to COVID-19;
• Treatment and mental interventions targeting psychologically vulnerable individuals and subgroups of suffering individuals.
***Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research in this Research Topic until December 31st 2020.***
Keywords: COVID-19, stress, anxiety, emotion, memory, cognition, prediction model
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.