Prof. Dr. Nebi Sümer

Professor of Psychology at Sabancı University
Prof. Dr. Nebi Sümer, bachelor degree in psychology at ODTÜ, master degree in developmental psychology at Hacetepe University and in USA, Kansas State University he has a PhD in social studies. He has been in USA, Cornell University with Fulbright research support in 2011-2012.
Nebi Sümer worked at Ankara University and ODTÜ University and after that he has been working in Sabancı University Arts and Social Sciences Faculty since 2018. He is a senior researcher in Istanbul Policy Center and he is a member of the Science Academy Association.
Nebi Sümer's main research areas (1) lifelong attachment dynamics and parental behaviors, (2) transportation and traffic psychology, (3) psychological measurement, (4) the effects of unemployment and job insecurity, and (5) psychology education/training. He has conducted wide-ranging national and international researches and published numerous scientific articles, book chapters and books. 
(bkz. www.nebisumer.com).

Presentation Summary 
In the 17-month period after the declaration of Pandemic in early 2020, Kovid-19 has had significant social, psychological impact at the level of the individuals, families and society.
With the high uncertainty and anxiety prolonged closure in stressful period and as a consequently psychologic isolation feeling and with that deepening social and economic issues have effected whole society’s psychological well-being negatively. Researches show that as a result of psychological breakdown there is a significant increase in psychological issues like depression, anxiety disorder and physical issues like sleep disorders and cardiovascular diseases. The most evident negative psychological effects of Covid -19 has seen among young people, unemployed, and women whose working obligations increased and old people who effected significantly during closure.
Thanks to discovery of vaccination, effects and implementation of shots the negative psychological impacts of virus slightly started to decrease. However, it is predicted that until the vaccination rate reach to social immune level, still virus transmission risk and its psychological effects will continue. Due to unemployment, job insecurity and other socio-economic problems deepened by Kovid-19, the negative psychological impact is much higher in disadvantaged segments of society. Therefore, priority should be given to support programs for people at high risk and adverse impact.
Even after the attainment of the social population immunity thanks to global vaccination, in next years, permanent success with struggle of pandemic will not be attained by medicine or vaccination, but effective ‘behavioral change and social adaptation’. Mask, distance, hygiene and regular ventilation of closed areas, which are the most effective methods to prevent the spread of the virus, are only possible with responsible citizens who understand these measures, believe in their effect and have the capacity to apply. As a matter of fact, it has been observed that rapid collective adaptation and effective norms are rapidly established in countries that have successfully implemented Covid-19 measures without resorting to force. In countries like USA during Trump’s presidency where political and emotional polarization is high, collective harmony could not be achieved in the society due to loss of trust, information pollution (info demi), insecurity and non-inclusive attitudes of the administrations, and as a result, the loss of life was very high. In other words, because of different social psychologic dynamics people cannot make the necessary behavioral changes. As a result, transmission and losses have reached very high levels in some countries.
Effective fight against possible future pandemics is possible with competent people and society, who can take measures to protect themselves and others effectively, act with the sense of "us", and are strengthened in social and psychological terms. For this, trust in others, which is the strongest social capital, and transparent information management, equitable preventive practices, suitable environment and opportunities for changing behaviors must be created. In order to achieve this scientifically, the whole society, especially decision makers, managers and practitioners at all levels, should systematically benefit from the rich knowledge and practice of behavioral sciences, especially social psychology