Health-Protective Behaviour, Social Media Usage and Conspiracy Belief During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency [open pdf - 177KB]
From the Abstract: "Social media platforms have long been recognised as major disseminators of health misinformation. Many previous studies have found a negative association between health-protective behaviours and belief in the specific form of misinformation popularly known as 'conspiracy theory'. Concerns have arisen regarding the spread of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] conspiracy theories on social media. [...] Three questionnaire surveys of social media use, conspiracy beliefs and health-protective behaviours with regard to COVID-19 among UK residents were carried out online, one using a self-selecting sample (N = 949) and two using stratified random samples from a recruited panel (N = 2250, N = 2254). [...] All three studies found a negative relationship between COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and COVID-19 health-protective behaviours, and a positive relationship between COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and use of social media as a source of information about COVID-19. Studies 2 and 3 also found a negative relationship between COVID-19 health-protective behaviours and use of social media as a source of information, and Study 3 found a positive relationship between health-protective behaviours and use of broadcast media as a source of information."
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Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/