In this paper, we demonstrate how public opinion surveys can be designed to collect information pertinent to computational behavior modeling, and we present the results of a public opinion and behavior survey conducted during the 2009–2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The results are used to parameterize the Health Belief Model of individual health-protective decision making. Survey subjects were asked questions about their perceptions of the then-circulating influenza and attitudes towards two personal protective behaviors: vaccination and avoidance of crowds. We empirically address two important issues in applying the Health Belief Model of behavior to computational infectious disease simulation: (1) the factors dynamically influencing the states of the Health Belief Model variables and (2) the appropriateness of the Health Belief Model in describing self-protective behavior in the context of pandemic influenza.
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