The use of the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a Conceptual Framework to Understand and Promote Health Recommendations During the First Wave of Covid-19 in Mexico City

Cuatro experimentos conductuales en una encuesta en la Ciudad de México


  • Nuria Álvarez Agüí Complutense University of Madrid, Social Sciences Graduated Program
  • Enrique Cáceres Nieto National Autonomous University of Mexico, Institute of Legal Research
  • Manuel Alejandro García Martínez National Autonomous University of Mexico, Faculty of Psychology
  • Josafat I. Hernández Cervantes National Autonomous University of Mexico, Center for Complexity Sciences *
  • Rosa Lidia López Bejarano National Autonomous University of Mexico, Faculty of Psychology
  • Pablo Ignacio Soto Mota Norwegian School of Economics, FAIR
  • Adrián Vargas López Tecnológico de Monterrey, School of Government and Public Transformation



public policy, health psychology, health crisis, survey experiments, protective behaviour, pandemics, COVID-19, health, illness, crisis


In this study, we apply the Theory of Planned Behavior to understand the factors that explained adherence to health recommendations during the first wave of Covid-19 in Mexico City. To do this, we designed and implemented an online survey on prevention measures. In addition, we generate an empirical correlate of the Theory of Planned Behavior to hypothesize about correlations between variables in the survey. In addition, we included four simple experiments in the survey. We found that norms, attitudes and perception of control are correlated with the planning and adoption of preventive actions. In the experiments we observe (1) that corruption reduces the credibility of the government with respect to the health crisis, (2) doctors are more persuasive about prevention, and (3) masks generate feelings of security. We conclude that the Theory of Planned Behavior is useful to make sense of data from surveys like ours. We encourage governments in developing countries to use methods like ours to collect and interpret data, even if provisional, to respond to future health crises.


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Author Biographies

Nuria Álvarez Agüí, Complutense University of Madrid, Social Sciences Graduated Program

Estudiante Doctoral, Programa 

Enrique Cáceres Nieto, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Institute of Legal Research

Investigador, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad, Laboratorio de Constructivismo Legal

Josafat I. Hernández Cervantes, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Center for Complexity Sciences *

* Currently attached to the Center for Economic Research and Teaching, Mexico


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How to Cite

Álvarez Agüí, N., Cáceres Nieto, E., García Martínez, M. A. ., Hernández Cervantes, J. I. ., López Bejarano, R. L. ., Soto Mota, P. I., & Vargas López, A. . (2023). The use of the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a Conceptual Framework to Understand and Promote Health Recommendations During the First Wave of Covid-19 in Mexico City: Cuatro experimentos conductuales en una encuesta en la Ciudad de México. Nova Scientia, 15(30), 1–31.



Human and Social Sciences


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