Public Trust, Conspiracy Theories and Political Ideology in the COVID-19 Era: A Cross-Sectional Greek Study

25 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2022

See all articles by Efthalia Massou

Efthalia Massou

University of Cambridge - The Primary Care Unit

George Tsouvelas

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Gerasimos Prodromitis

Panteion University

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Abstract

This socio-political cross-sectional study describes public trust in Greece and investigates its ideological determinants soon after the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our web-based questionnaire included 22 domains of trust and was completed by 438 participants. We estimated the correlations between trust domains and belief in conspiracy theories, conservatism, institutional liberalism, and political orientation within the spectrum extreme left- extreme right. We found that the level of public trust regarding the pandemic management was broadly low and that there was considerable dissemination of conspiracy theories in Greek society. Adjusting for demographic characteristics and political attitudes we saw that age was the most influencing demographic determinant of public trust. Belief in conspiracy theories and conservativism were also robustly significant determinants. Our findings feed the research body and the public discussion about the socio-political dimensions of the pandemic under the prism of public health.

Note:
Funding Information: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Conflict of Interests: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Patient Informed Consent Statement: Adults consented to participate in the study, completed anonymously.

Keywords: public trust, pandemic, COVID-19, political ideology, conspiracy theories

Suggested Citation

Massou, Efthalia and Tsouvelas, George and Prodromitis, Gerasimos, Public Trust, Conspiracy Theories and Political Ideology in the COVID-19 Era: A Cross-Sectional Greek Study. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4075698 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4075698

Efthalia Massou (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - The Primary Care Unit

George Tsouvelas

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens ( email )

Gerasimos Prodromitis

Panteion University ( email )

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