Next Article in Journal
[email protected] Texts: Mobile Phone Messaging to Increase Awareness of HIV and HIV Testing in UK Construction Employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Previous Article in Journal
The Development of a Public Bathroom Perception Scale
Previous Article in Special Issue
Digital Healthy Diet Literacy and Self-Perceived Eating Behavior Change during COVID-19 Pandemic among Undergraduate Nursing and Medical Students: A Rapid Online Survey
Article

The Determinants of Conspiracy Beliefs Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Nationally Representative Sample of Internet Users

Department of Health Promotion and e-Health, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Grzegorzecka Str. 20, 31-531 Krakow, Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217818
Received: 9 August 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 22 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue eHealth Literacy)
An overwhelming flood of misinformation is accompanying the pandemic of COVID-19. Fake news and conspiracy theories are so prevalent that the World Health Organization started as early as February 2020 to use the term “infodemic”. This paper is focused on the assessment of the prevalence of beliefs in conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 in Polish society. The association of support for conspiracy theories with sociodemographic variables, health literacy (HL) and eHealth literacy (eHL) was studied. The analysis reported here was based on the data from an online survey of a representative sample (n = 1002) of the adult population of Polish Internet users. The multivariate linear regression for the COVID-19-related conspiracy belief score (CCBS) and logistic regression models for the support of individual conspiracy theories was developed. The percentage of supporters of particular conspiracy theories in the study sample ranged from 43% to 56%. The CCBS was significantly associated with age, education level, vocational status and both HL and eHL. However, it was lower for persons with higher HL (regression coefficient (B) = −0.04, p < 0.001) but higher for those with higher eHL (B = 0.04, p = 0.038). The most influential predictors of CCBS were age (standardised regression coefficient (β) = −0.21) and education level (β from 0.08 to 0.16 for respondents with lower education levels and those with master’s degrees). In conclusion, younger persons rather than older, those with a lower rather than with a higher level of education, employees rather than students and persons with lower rather than higher HL were more likely to believe the conspiracy theories. Surprisingly, contrary to expectations, higher eHL was significantly associated with greater belief in such theories. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; infodemic; fake news; misinformation; disinformation; conspiracy theory; health literacy; eHealth literacy COVID-19; pandemic; infodemic; fake news; misinformation; disinformation; conspiracy theory; health literacy; eHealth literacy
MDPI and ACS Style

Duplaga, M. The Determinants of Conspiracy Beliefs Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Nationally Representative Sample of Internet Users. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217818

AMA Style

Duplaga M. The Determinants of Conspiracy Beliefs Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Nationally Representative Sample of Internet Users. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):7818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217818

Chicago/Turabian Style

Duplaga, Mariusz. 2020. "The Determinants of Conspiracy Beliefs Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Nationally Representative Sample of Internet Users" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 7818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217818

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop