: Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, individuals felt uncertain and insecure. As a consequence, conspiracy theories flourished and quickly spread. In the current study, we examine the relationship between general and COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, cognitive reflection, psychopathological symptoms, and defense styles in a sample of Italian adults. A total of 450 participants (50.2% male; mean age = 40.89 years, SD = 12.15) took part in an online survey. Two linear regression models on the general (explained variance 22.6%) and COVID-19-related (explained variance 33.0%) conspiracy theories have been tested. Among the predictive factors, older age, mania symptoms, and immature defenses facilitate adherence to conspiracy theories; on the opposite side, higher education, cognitive reflection, and mature defenses protected from adherence to conspiracy theories. The study provides some novel findings about factors that are significantly associated with general and COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, and highlights the pivotal role of individuals' psychological defenses in conspiracy theories.

The role of defense styles and psychopathological symptoms on adherence to conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 pandemic

Schimmenti, Adriano;
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, individuals felt uncertain and insecure. As a consequence, conspiracy theories flourished and quickly spread. In the current study, we examine the relationship between general and COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, cognitive reflection, psychopathological symptoms, and defense styles in a sample of Italian adults. A total of 450 participants (50.2% male; mean age = 40.89 years, SD = 12.15) took part in an online survey. Two linear regression models on the general (explained variance 22.6%) and COVID-19-related (explained variance 33.0%) conspiracy theories have been tested. Among the predictive factors, older age, mania symptoms, and immature defenses facilitate adherence to conspiracy theories; on the opposite side, higher education, cognitive reflection, and mature defenses protected from adherence to conspiracy theories. The study provides some novel findings about factors that are significantly associated with general and COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, and highlights the pivotal role of individuals' psychological defenses in conspiracy theories.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/157892
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