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2024-02-09
New Paper: Association of personality traits and socio-environmental factors with COVID-19 pandemic-related conspiratorial thinking in the D-A-CH region

What has Conspiracy Theories got to do with individual personality traits, socio-environmental factors? Quite a lot actually, according to a new multi-author paper including Guido Caniglia, published in SN Social Sciences.

At the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world also witnessed a surge in conspiracy theories due to widespread misinformation, distrust, and uncertainty exacerbated by heightened social media usage and reduced face-to-face interactions due to social distancing measures. This study, carried out in in August 2021 in the D?A?CH region that (Germany-Austria-Switzerland), examined the relationship between individual personality traits, socio-environmental factors, and belief in pandemic-related conspiracies. The study surveyed 3,067 German-speaking adults from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The results showed that belief in pandemic-related conspiracies was negatively associated with complexity thinking, optimism, and higher education levels. Conversely, it was positively associated with regular attendance at religious meetings, not voting recently, vaccine hesitancy among oneself or close contacts, prior COVID-19 infection, and disapproval of COVID-19 mitigation measures.

The findings underscore the importance of promoting complexity understanding through targeted interventions, particularly in educational settings, to combat the spread of conspiracy theories. The authors urge policymakers to recognize the impact of conspiracy beliefs on public health decisions and prioritize transparent communication. The study also proposes that fostering interdisciplinary (between scientific disciplines) and transdisciplinary research (between science and society), enhancing science literacy, and promoting science diplomacy collaboration are crucial for effectively addressing the challenges posed by pandemic-related conspiracy theories.

You might want to ponder on this graphic: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43545-023-00790-9/figures/3

If that got your attention, please find the paper at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43545-023-00790-9

 

Han, E., Weitzer, J., Birmann, B.M., Bertau, M., Zenk, L., Caniglia, G., Laubichler, M.D., Schernhammer, E.S. and Steiner, G., 2024. Association of personality traits and socio-environmental factors with COVID-19 pandemic-related conspiratorial thinking in the DA-CH region. SN Social Sciences, 4(2), p.41.