COVID-19 Scientific Facts vs. Conspiracy Theories: Is Science Failing to Pass Its Message?

Marios Constantinou, Antonios Kagialis, Maria Karekla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Science may be failing to convince a significant number of people about COVID-19 scientific facts and needed public health measures. Individual and social factors are behind believing conspiracy theories. Adults (N = 1001) were asked to rate their beliefs in various conspiracy theories circulating in social media, rate their psychological distress relating to COVID-19, rate their trust in science to solve COVID-19 problems, and rate their willingness to adhere to measures regarding social distancing and quarantine. The findings showed conspiracy theories are widely believed and related to lower age, lower education, living in less densely populated areas, and lower income. Stronger conspiracy theory beliefs predicted science mistrust and unwillingness to adhere to public health measures. Psychological state was a strong predictor of conspiracy beliefs. Recommendations, stemming from the findings, for reducing such beliefs and better serving public health are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Article number6343
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2021

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