Pandemic and Normative Behavior

Onset of the project: March 2022
Conclusion: February 2025

Social Behavior

This project aims to establish the role that the physiological constitution of social mammals, especially human beings, has in the expression of basic social emotions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The social relevance of emotions to relationships established in small groups will be investigated both on a conceptual basis and from an empirical-experimental perspective, focusing on the role expressive movements play in the communication of approval and social censure in canids and social primates. Recent research has explored how extreme conditions act as triggers for certain emotions. 

social distancing, social distance, corona-5044598.jpg

The problem arises when phenomena such as a pandemic produce extreme conditions in which our moral judgments are distorted by a series of factors (prejudices, anxieties, and excessive concern about our own personal problems), making it difficult for us to act as moral agents. These psychological factors add to the difficulties of our natural condition (limits to our knowledge, reasoning ability, and judgment), making our choices especially challenging. Our study of emotional expressions will be performed by presenting the general principles of emotions articulated by Darwin (2000) in combination with contemporary analyses developed by experimental psychologists and behavioral biologists. Based Ekman’s research on emotions  (1999), studies will be developed to map the expressive movements of social mammals with respect to basic emotions. The hypothesis is that if these principles are found to be homologous in different species, those similarities will strengthen the evolutionary explanation of the relationship between emotions and social behavior, offering a key to an empirically solid reading of the relationships of social viscosity in family nuclei raised by the pandemic context.

COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of Emotions in Normative Behaviors.


▱ Evandro Barbosa – Coordinator

Federal University of Pelotas – Brazil

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Matheus-Mesquita-3.jpeg▱ Matheus de Mesquita Silveira

University of Caxias do Sul – Brazil

▱ Silvio José Lemos Vasconcellos

Federal University of Santa Maria – Brazil

Heloisa Allgayer▱ Heloisa Allgayer 

University of Caxias do Sul – Brazil


  • Upcoming Publications:  2023
  • Financial Support: Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq