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Article

Dissociation, Cognitive Reflection and Health Literacy Have a Modest Effect on Belief in Conspiracy Theories about COVID-19

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Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital in Pilsen, Charles University, 30100 Pilsen, Czech Republic
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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
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Department of Psychological Methods, University of Amsterdam, 1012 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Memory Clinic, Department of Neurology, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and Motol University Hospital, 15006 Prague, Czech Republic
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International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno, 65691 Brno, Czech Republic
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Center of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education, University of West Bohemia, 30100 Pilsen, Czech Republic
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Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, 12808 Prague, Czech Republic
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Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education, 10005 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105065
Received: 14 April 2021 / Revised: 6 May 2021 / Accepted: 7 May 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Communication and Informatics)
Understanding the predictors of belief in COVID-related conspiracy theories and willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 may aid the resolution of current and future pandemics. We investigate how psychological and cognitive characteristics influence general conspiracy mentality and COVID-related conspiracy theories. A cross-sectional study was conducted based on data from an online survey of a sample of Czech university students (n = 866) collected in January 2021, using multivariate linear regression and mediation analysis. Sixteen percent of respondents believed that COVID-19 is a hoax, and 17% believed that COVID-19 was intentionally created by humans. Seven percent of the variance of the hoax theory and 10% of the variance of the creation theory was explained by (in descending order of relevance) low cognitive reflection, low digital health literacy, high experience with dissociation and, to some extent, high bullshit receptivity. Belief in COVID-related conspiracy theories depended less on psychological and cognitive variables compared to conspiracy mentality (16% of the variance explained). The effect of digital health literacy on belief in COVID-related theories was moderated by cognitive reflection. Belief in conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 was influenced by experience with dissociation, cognitive reflection, digital health literacy and bullshit receptivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: conspiracy theories; COVID-19; health literacy; dissociation; cognitive reflection; bullshit receptivity; eHEALS conspiracy theories; COVID-19; health literacy; dissociation; cognitive reflection; bullshit receptivity; eHEALS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pisl, V.; Volavka, J.; Chvojkova, E.; Cechova, K.; Kavalirova, G.; Vevera, J. Dissociation, Cognitive Reflection and Health Literacy Have a Modest Effect on Belief in Conspiracy Theories about COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5065. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105065

AMA Style

Pisl V, Volavka J, Chvojkova E, Cechova K, Kavalirova G, Vevera J. Dissociation, Cognitive Reflection and Health Literacy Have a Modest Effect on Belief in Conspiracy Theories about COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(10):5065. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105065

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pisl, Vojtech, Jan Volavka, Edita Chvojkova, Katerina Cechova, Gabriela Kavalirova, and Jan Vevera. 2021. "Dissociation, Cognitive Reflection and Health Literacy Have a Modest Effect on Belief in Conspiracy Theories about COVID-19" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 10: 5065. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105065

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