This study investigated the cognition, information behaviors and preventive behaviors of Taiwanese citizens in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey was administered and 610 valid responses were collected. The relationships between demographic variables and optimistic bias, social trust, information credibility, personal protective measures, avoidance of human contact, and immune system strengthening were examined. Results showed that optimistic bias existed, but there was no significant correlation between optimistic bias and personal protective measures. Laypersons had high trust in the government, but also optimistic bias. Gender was the most important predictor; with occupation and region of residence also interacting with different preventive behaviors. People in Taiwan may be overly optimistic in facing the epidemic; relevant information should be properly disclosed to help reduce this bias. Social trust in the government seems to be an important successful factor in the fight against COVID-19 in Taiwan.
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