Don't believe it! A global perspective on cognitive reflection and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 pandemic
Together with two other authors, Jaroslaw Kantorowicz from ISGA investigates the susceptibility to believing in misinformation.
- Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko, Chris Reinders Folmer, Jaroslaw Kantorowicz
- 10 May 2022
- Don't believe it! A global perspective on cognitive reflection and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the saliency of an old phenomenon – conspiracy theories. In times of a global crisis and an unprecedented access to information, fake news seems to spread as fast as the virus. A global pandemic requires more than ever self-compliance. Only behavior change and vaccination on a large scale can bring us to normality. Yet believing in conspiracy theories about COVID-19 is expected to undermine such compliance. What determines susceptibility to believing in misinformation? In this study, using data on mostly representative samples of 45 countries around the world (38,113 participants), we found evidence that people with more deliberate thinking are less likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Furthermore, on the individual level people who are more prone to believe in conspiracy theories are less likely to comply with behavior change. We are in the midst of the biggest coordination game and such insights in social psychology can inform policymakers.
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