School of Social and Political Science

SPS researcher to examine Covid-19’s impact on moral values

Sub head

Dr Jan Eichhorn at Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS) will co-lead a project to investigate how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting moral values and social orientations in society.


Funding for the project - Values in Crisis – a Crisis of Values? Moral Values and Social Orientations under the Imprint of the Corona Pandemic - comes from the Volkswagen Foundation. Dr Eichhorn will work in collaboration with researchers at universities in Germany and with think tank d|part as a practice partner.

Project aims

The project will engage in a prospective panel study to compare attitudes of 2,000 respondents each in Great Britain and Germany. The two countries were chosen because they are comparable in terms of economic parameters, but differ greatly in the way they deal with the pandemic and its consequences.

Moral values and social orientation are considered relatively stable constructs that change only slowly. Values and social orientations are of great importance for how individuals feel about democracy or populism, for example.

The project team includes:

  • Dr Jan Eichhorn, SPS, University of Edinburgh (project lead)
  • Professor Jan Delhey, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg (project lead)
  • Dr Franziska Deutsch, Jacobs University (project lead)
  • Professor Christian Welzel, Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • Professor Ulrich Kühnen, Jacobs University
  • Professor Klaus Boehnke, Jacobs University


As part of its Corona Crisis and Beyond initiative, the Volkswagen Foundation is funding cross-disciplinary research with a total of 11.7 million euros. 102 projects from a wide range of disciplines have been approved to each receive up to 120,000 euros.

Other projects funded by the foundation range from new procedures for rapid tests to linguistic investigations of conspiracy theories.