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Narrative Review

Vol. 20 No. 2 (2022): New Horizons: Innovation in Medicine

Interpreting the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Bridging Psychological and Sociological Perspectives

June 6, 2021


Recently, sociologists and psychologists have been investigating the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet much of the social science literature regarding COVID-19 remains partial towards either the sociological or psychological perspective. To mitigate the effects of stigma and guilt, a holistic perspective that integrates sociological and psychological viewpoints needs development.

The purpose of this article is to synthesize evidence on the social and psychological implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the author focuses on two key themes, stigma and guilt. The concept of guilt is emphasized by the psychological literature, while, on the other hand, the concept of stigma exists both in sociology and psychology, but tends towards sociological interpretations given its historical origin. Overall, the presence of stigma and excessive guilt are associated with decreased social compliance and increased mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The author argues that social practices that focus on inclusiveness and preparedness towards mitigating the effects of stigma and guilt—while also complying with public health measures—are crucial for social compliance and increasing societal well-being.


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