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Survey Shows People with Low Scientific Reasoning Tend to Believe Conspiracy Theories on COVID-19

March 3, 2021

People who understand science are less likely to believe conspiracy theories on COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study conducted in Slovakia and published in Journal of Health Psychology.

A week after the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Slovakia, 783 respondents with ages 18-84 were asked to rate how much they believe various conspiracy theories such as "SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) is a biological weapon created to eliminate the overcrowded human population" and "COVID-19 (coronavirus) is only a fabrication, it is an ordinary flu which pharmaceutical companies rebranded to increase the sales of drugs." They were also asked to take an exam on scientific reasoning which includes a set of true or false statements such as "The researchers want to find out how to increase natality. They ask for statistical information and see that there are more children born in cities that have more hospitals. This finding implies that building new hospitals will increase the birth rate of the population." Questions on coronavirus knowledge, belief in unfounded health-related claims, general analytic thinking, anti-vaccination attitudes, and preventive behavior were also included in the survey.

Results showed that those who believed in COVID-19 conspiracy theories garnered low scores in scientific reasoning and have a low willingness to get vaccinated.

Read more from the Journal of Health Psychology and Psypost.

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