Journal of Behavioral Public Administration 2020-07-01T00:00:00+00:00 Sebastian Jilke Open Journal Systems <p><em>Journal of Behavioral Public Administration (JBPA)</em> is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary open access journal that focuses on behavioral and experimental research in public administration, broadly defined.&nbsp; JBPA encourages submissions of both basic scholarly and applied work conducted by academics or practitioners.</p> How to encourage “Togetherness by Keeping Apart” amid COVID-19? The ineffectiveness of prosocial and empathy appeals 2020-05-25T15:36:27+00:00 Nathan Favero Mogens Jin Pedersen <p>The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge facing societies around the world. Citizen engagement in “social distancing” is a key containment measure for curtailing the spread of the virus. But what kind of information should governments use for encouraging social distancing compliance? Using data from a pre-registered survey experiment among US residents (n = 1,502), we examine how five distinct COVID-19 information cues—which each appeal to prosocial motivation and empathy in varying degree—affect people’s willingness to social distance. We find no significant differences across experimental conditions in terms of (a) the duration that respondents are willing to maintain social distancing, (b) intended social distancing behavior, or (c) COVID-19-related attitudes and beliefs. Our findings should not necessarily discourage decision-makers from priming prosocial motivation and empathy as means for promoting social distancing, but they do suggest a current need for more engaging medium than simple textual messages for such appeals.</p> 2020-05-24T17:05:46+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Emotional labor assessments and episodic recall bias in public engagement 2020-06-09T15:57:43+00:00 William G. Resh Cynthia Wilkes Carmen Mooradian <p>In a survey of local officials in Los Angeles County we test individual-level job-related assessments as a function of a public employee’s induced recall of discrete citizen engagement and one’s intrinsic prosocial motivation through a randomized survey experiment. We explore whether tangible retentions of public service influence the relationship between self-concepts—such as reported prosociality—and job-related assessments. We find that the relationship between self-reports of prosociality and pay satisfaction are contingent upon those concepts being decontextualized, whereas discrete recall bias appears not to affect emotional burnout. In other words, subjects seem to accept the emotional labor of engagement as part of their jobs. However, contextualizing engagement may make them more cognizant of its unremunerated dimensions; and, positive reinforcement of engagement provides encouragement to further engagement. Our findings make the case that emotional labor involves a skill set that employees implicitly recognize merits remuneration and that reinforcing positive engagement outcomes inspires employee motivation.</p> 2020-06-09T02:54:36+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020