Confident and Skeptical: What Science Misinformation Patterns Can Teach Us About the COVID-19 Pandemic

26 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020

See all articles by Jennifer Jerit

Jennifer Jerit

State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook

Tine Paulsen

New York University

Joshua A. Tucker

New York University (NYU)

Date Written: April 19, 2020

Abstract

As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to renewed focus on scientific misinformation, we take advantage of a December 2019 pilot study for the American National Election Study to analyze the US population's misinformation across a range of scientific topics. We find that people who are misinformed about scientific issues are confident in their beliefs, often as confident as those who hold correct beliefs. The misinformed also are less likely to trust experts and less likely to favor using scientific evidence in policy making than people who are not misinformed. These findings highlight the challenges of educating the public about COVID-19, particularly those who already are misinformed about the disease.

Keywords: Science, Vaccination, Global Warming, GM Foods, Experts, Misinformation, Science Misinformation

Suggested Citation

Jerit, Jennifer and Paulsen, Tine and Tucker, Joshua Aaron, Confident and Skeptical: What Science Misinformation Patterns Can Teach Us About the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 19, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3580430 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3580430

Jennifer Jerit

State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook ( email )

Health Science Center

Tine Paulsen

New York University ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
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Joshua Aaron Tucker (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

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