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Cultural orientation, powerlessness, belief in conspiracy theories, and intentions to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Biddlestone, Mikey, Green, Ricky, Douglas, Karen (2020) Cultural orientation, powerlessness, belief in conspiracy theories, and intentions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. British Journal of Social Psychology, . ISSN 0144-6665. (doi:10.1111/bjso.12397) (KAR id:81621)

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Abstract

The current study investigated cultural and psychological factors associated with intentions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Participants (n = 704) completed measures of individualism–collectivism, belief in conspiracy theories about COVID-19, feelings of powerlessness, and intentions to engage in behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Results revealed that vertical individualism negatively predicted intentions to engage in social distancing, directly and indirectly through both belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories and feelings of powerlessness. Vertical collectivism positively predicted social distancing intentions directly. Horizontal collectivism positively predicted social distancing intentions indirectly through feelings of powerlessness. Finally, horizontal collectivism positively predicted hygiene-related intentions both directly and indirectly through lower feelings of powerlessness. These findings suggest that promoting collectivism may be a way to increase engagement with efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. They also highlight the importance of examining the interplay between culture and both personal feelings (powerlessness) and information consumption (conspiracy theories) during times of crisis.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/bjso.12397
Uncontrolled keywords: Individualism, collectivism, COVID-19, conspiracy theories, powerlessness
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 09:53 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:13 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/81621 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Douglas, Karen: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0381-6924
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