A study is underway to uncover how people make sense of the coronavirus restrictions and what rationale is used to decide if we will be compliant or not.
Alongside colleagues in the United Kingdom, University of Auckland psychology professor Virginia Braun was investigating the process.
Speaking to Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB's Early Edition this morning, Braun said most people in both countries had followed the new rules.
"There has been an incredible amount of compliance with restrictions and regulations around daily life that we six months ago could not have imagined happening to us," she said.
"What we're trying to find out is to try and understand how people make sense of that negotiation and regulation but, yes, the transition has been radical and rapid and [there have been] very high levels of compliance."
New Zealand entered level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on March 25 and it ended around five weeks later at 11.59pm on April 27.
Now sitting in alert level 3, some businesses were now allowed to reopen such as takeaways and cafes with social distancing rules still applying.
The public had been constantly encouraged by authorities, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, to treat level 3 like level 4 and avoid unnecessary travel.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand and UK public had been largely compliant with regulations and laws which guided everyday life in the lead up to the coronavirus outbreak.
People were used to following those restrictions but recently, in the past few decades, people had been encouraged to think of themselves as individuals who made their own choices about life, Braun said.
Under the coronavirus restrictions, while there was a lot of freedom, there were plenty more restrictions around people's lives.
"I think we have a good understanding of how people behave but not in this particular set of circumstances and that's why we're curious to understand how people make sense of these rules and restrictions in this very tightly restricted time," Braun said.
Asked why she thought people were so compliant during the lockdown, Braun said it was impossible to say in the early stages of the study.
Yesterday, at the daily update with Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, it was announced that there had been 154 prosecutions in alert level 3 following breaches.
There were also no new cases of coronavirus in New Zealand yesterday, Bloomfield said, adding he wanted to keep it that way.
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It was the first time in close to six weeks that testing had not uncovered a single case across a 24-hour period.