The psychology and psychiatry of pandemics


The World Health Organization (WHO) characterised COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020 and countries around the world are putting measures in place to combat the spread of coronavirus. How do psychological factors influence the spread of pandemic infection and the associated emotional distress and social disruption? In this podcast, Dr Raj Persaud talks to Professor Steven Taylor about his recently published book offering a comprehensive analysis of the psychology of pandemics.


Date published: 24 March 2020

Presenter: Dr Raj Persaud

Interviewees: Professor Steven Taylor

Audio running time: 39 minutes

Credits: 0.5


Learning outcomes


By the end of this podcast, we hope you will have gained an understanding of:


  • the importance of human behaviour and psychology in the containment versus spreading of infections  


  • the history of pandemics and the links with our behavioural immune system and perceived vulnerability to disease


  • psychological vulnerabilities to the stresses of pandemics and individual coping strategies 


  • the psychology of risk communication 


  • the impact of pandemics on mental health.


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Module Health anxiety: Part 1 – concept, prevalence and management by Professor Peter Tyrer and Dr Helen Tyrer


Podcast The psychology of agency and control with Dr Magda Osman

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