Perceived prevalence of misinformation fuels worries about COVID-19: A cross-country, multi-method investigation

Jörg Matthes, Nicoleta Corbu, Soyeon Jin, Yannis Theocharis, Christian Schemer, Peter van Aelst, Jesper Strömbäck, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Frank Esser, Toril Aalberg, Ana S. Cardenal, Laia Castro, Claes de Vreese, David Nicolas Hopmann, Tamir Sheafer, Sergio Splendore, James Stanyer, Agnieszka Stępińska, Václav Stetka, Alon Zoizner

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed

Abstract

Data suggests that the majority of citizens in various countries came across ‘fake news’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. We test the relationship between perceived prevalence of misinformation and people’s worries about COVID-19. In Study 1, analyses of a survey across 17 countries indicate a positive association: perceptions of high prevalence of misinformation are correlated with high worries about COVID-19. However, the relationship is weaker in countries with higher levels of case-fatality ratios, and independent from the actual amount of misinformation per country. Study 2 replicates the relationship using experimental data. Furthermore, Study 2 demonstrates the underlying mechanism, that is, perceived prevalence of misinformation fosters the belief that COVID-19 is spiralling out of control, which in turn, increases worries. Our findings suggest that perceived prevalence of misinformation can have significant psychological effects, even though audience members reject the information as being false.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Seiten (von - bis)3135 – 3158
Seitenumfang24
FachzeitschriftInformation, Communication & Society
Jahrgang26
Ausgabenummer16
Frühes Online-Datum29 Nov. 2022
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 21 Dez. 2023

ÖFOS 2012

  • 508007 Kommunikationswissenschaft

Fingerprint

Untersuchen Sie die Forschungsthemen von „Perceived prevalence of misinformation fuels worries about COVID-19: A cross-country, multi-method investigation“. Zusammen bilden sie einen einzigartigen Fingerprint.

Zitationsweisen