Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. / Pummerer, Lotte; Böhm, Robert; Lilleholt, Lau; Winter, Kevin; Zettler, Ingo; Sassenberg, Kai.

In: Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2021, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Pummerer, L, Böhm, R, Lilleholt, L, Winter, K, Zettler, I & Sassenberg, K 2021, 'Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic', Social Psychological and Personality Science, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506211000217

APA

Pummerer, L., Böhm, R., Lilleholt, L., Winter, K., Zettler, I., & Sassenberg, K. (Accepted/In press). Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506211000217

Vancouver

Pummerer L, Böhm R, Lilleholt L, Winter K, Zettler I, Sassenberg K. Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2021;1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506211000217

Author

Pummerer, Lotte ; Böhm, Robert ; Lilleholt, Lau ; Winter, Kevin ; Zettler, Ingo ; Sassenberg, Kai. / Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. In: Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2021 ; pp. 1-11.

Bibtex

@article{8b734f540cfa4bf799fd943682bc434f,
title = "Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic",
abstract = "During COVID-19, conspiracy theories were intensely discussed in the media. Generally, both believing in conspiracy theories (i.e., explanations for events based on powerholders{\textquoteright} secret arrangements) and being confronted with a conspiracy theory have been found to predict cognition and behavior with negative societal effects, such as low institutional trust. Accordingly, believing in conspiracy theories around COVID-19 should reduce institutional trust, support of governmental regulations and their adoption, and social engagement (e.g., helping members of risk groups). We tested these predictions in a national random sample survey, an experiment, and a longitudinal study (N total = 1,213; all studies were preregistered). Indeed, believing in and being confronted with a COVID-19 conspiracy theory decreased institutional trust, support of governmental regulations, adoption of physical distancing, and—to some extent—social engagement. Findings underscore the severe societal effects of conspiracy theories in the context of COVID-19.",
keywords = "Faculty of Social Sciences, conspiracy theory, conspiracy mentality, COVID-19, trust, social influence",
author = "Lotte Pummerer and Robert B{\"o}hm and Lau Lilleholt and Kevin Winter and Ingo Zettler and Kai Sassenberg",
year = "2021",
doi = "10.1177/19485506211000217",
language = "English",
pages = "1--11",
journal = "Social Psychological and Personality Science",
issn = "1948-5506",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Conspiracy theories and their societal effects during the COVID-19 pandemic

AU - Pummerer, Lotte

AU - Böhm, Robert

AU - Lilleholt, Lau

AU - Winter, Kevin

AU - Zettler, Ingo

AU - Sassenberg, Kai

PY - 2021

Y1 - 2021

N2 - During COVID-19, conspiracy theories were intensely discussed in the media. Generally, both believing in conspiracy theories (i.e., explanations for events based on powerholders’ secret arrangements) and being confronted with a conspiracy theory have been found to predict cognition and behavior with negative societal effects, such as low institutional trust. Accordingly, believing in conspiracy theories around COVID-19 should reduce institutional trust, support of governmental regulations and their adoption, and social engagement (e.g., helping members of risk groups). We tested these predictions in a national random sample survey, an experiment, and a longitudinal study (N total = 1,213; all studies were preregistered). Indeed, believing in and being confronted with a COVID-19 conspiracy theory decreased institutional trust, support of governmental regulations, adoption of physical distancing, and—to some extent—social engagement. Findings underscore the severe societal effects of conspiracy theories in the context of COVID-19.

AB - During COVID-19, conspiracy theories were intensely discussed in the media. Generally, both believing in conspiracy theories (i.e., explanations for events based on powerholders’ secret arrangements) and being confronted with a conspiracy theory have been found to predict cognition and behavior with negative societal effects, such as low institutional trust. Accordingly, believing in conspiracy theories around COVID-19 should reduce institutional trust, support of governmental regulations and their adoption, and social engagement (e.g., helping members of risk groups). We tested these predictions in a national random sample survey, an experiment, and a longitudinal study (N total = 1,213; all studies were preregistered). Indeed, believing in and being confronted with a COVID-19 conspiracy theory decreased institutional trust, support of governmental regulations, adoption of physical distancing, and—to some extent—social engagement. Findings underscore the severe societal effects of conspiracy theories in the context of COVID-19.

KW - Faculty of Social Sciences

KW - conspiracy theory

KW - conspiracy mentality

KW - COVID-19

KW - trust

KW - social influence

U2 - 10.1177/19485506211000217

DO - 10.1177/19485506211000217

M3 - Journal article

SP - 1

EP - 11

JO - Social Psychological and Personality Science

JF - Social Psychological and Personality Science

SN - 1948-5506

ER -

ID: 257699766