Believing Processes during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 22;19(19):11997. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191911997.


Cognition, emotion, emotional regulation, and believing play a special role in psychosocial functioning, especially in times of crisis. So far, little is known about the process of believing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to examine the process of believing (using the Model of Credition) and the associated psychosocial strain/stress during the first lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey via LimeSurvey was conducted using the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and a dedicated Believing Questionnaire, which assesses four parameters of credition (propositions, certainty, emotion, mightiness) between April and June, 2020, in Austria. In total, n = 156 mentally healthy participants completed all questionnaires. Negative credition parameters were associated with higher global symptom load (from BSI-18): narratives: r = 0.29, p < 0.001; emotions r = 0.39, p < 0.001. These findings underline the importance of credition as a link between cognition and emotion and their impact on psychosocial functioning and stress regulation in implementing novel strategies to promote mental health.

Keywords: COVID-19; cognition; credition; emotion; psychosocial functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Cognition
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Pandemics

Grant support

The COVID-19 research at the Clinical Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapeutic Medicine has been funded by the FWF Austrian Science Fund KLIF project 968.