Virtual Conference
Divesha Goyal

Divesha Goyal

University of Illinois, USA

Title: Emotion, cognition, and COVID-19: A study exploring the association between fear of COVID-19 intolerance of uncertainty and decision-making in Indian adolescents


Introduction: Fear and uncertainty are the 2 ingredients of psychological challenges brought about by coronavirus (COVID- 19). Fear and intolerance of uncertainty can affect decision-making. Because of the pandemic and owing to their phase of cognitive development, adolescents are more susceptible to such influence.

Objective: To explore and understand the effects of COVID-19 on emotion and cognition by investigating the association between fear of COVID-19, intolerance for uncertainty, and decision-making in Indian adolescents.

Method: The sample constituted 136 Indian adolescents aged 15 to 19 years. The sampling technique used was a nonprobability sampling technique called snowball sampling. The sample was collected through an online platform, ie, WhatsApp, Facebook, and most responses were received from Delhi, Sirsa (Haryana), and Chandigarh. The tools administered were the fear of COVID-19 scale (FCVS-19), the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS-12), and the adolescent decision-making questionnaire (ADMQ). Correlational, regression, and mediational analyses were conducted to study the associations and interactions between the 3 study variables.

Results: The sample consisted of 51.5% females and 48.5% males. The correlational analysis reported significant positive relationships between fear of COVID-19, intolerance of uncertainty, and maladaptive decision-making. Further, mediation analysis reported: (a) the intolerance of uncertainty mediates the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and maladaptive decision-making patterns and (b) fear of COVID-19 mediates the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and maladaptive decision-making patterns.

Conclusion: The findings indicated that emotions experienced by adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic could have a negative and significant effect on their decision-making. Thus, it is necessary to mitigate these effects to ensure optimal development of their cognitive skills during calamities such as the COVID-19 pandemic.