Last Monday, May 18, 2020, the latest edition of our ReachHigher lecture series took place. This time the UMCH students had the chance to attend a lecture by Ricarda Suska titled “Psychology in Times of Corona – Why the Germans Hoard Toilet Paper and How to Stay Mentally Healthy During this Madness” via Zoom.
Ricarda works as an educational psychology consultant and host of the podcast “Psycho und Doc”. In her lecture, she presented, among other things, three different attempts at explaining the hoarding of products, which was particularly characteristic of the beginning of the ongoing corona crisis. One possible explanation, for example, is the occurrence of so-called self-fulfilling prophecies, which can be applied very well to the current situation. As human beings, we first have a belief – in this case that the supermarket shelves will soon be empty. This belief is reinforced by media images, which change the behavior we normally display in the supermarket. Thus, out of fear, we buy a lot of toilet paper and thereby contribute to the outcome that we were originally afraid of.
After the lecture, the students could ask the psychologist their own questions. These included, for example, how we can control our fears better and how social isolation or the sharing of a household affects our minds in times of Corona.