Joanne McVeigh and Mac MacLachlan, of the ALL Institue, publish article on RTÉ Brainstorm entitled 'Why do so many people believe Covid-19 conspiracy theories?'

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Monday, January 4, 2021 - 16:45

ALL member Joanne McVeigh and ALL Co-Director Mac MacLachlan, publish an article on RTÉ Brainstorm entitled 'Why do so many people believe Covid-19 conspiracy theories?'. It is an analysis of how conspiracy theories have been widespread during this pandemic and the significant risk to health they pose.

"A recent Brainstorm article looked at our susceptibility to conspiracy theories during epidemics, and the gravitation towards conspiracies which has surfaced during this pandemic. Conspiracy theories are an important concern, as their effects can be harmful to public health and social cohesion. For example, a UK survey reported that a higher degree of belief in conspiracy theories on COVID-19 was associated with lower adherence to all government recommendations and less willingness to be tested for the virus or to be vaccinated.

Citizens' trust in government is critical to ensuring compliance with public health measures, such as physical distancing and mask-wearing. But conspiracy theories have been pervasive during the pandemic and pose a significant risk to population health. In response to this risk, efforts to prevent the spread of conspiracy theories have included the World Health Organisation’s worldwide campaign "Stop the Spread" to address the "infodemic" of misinformation on Covid-19. "

Read the article in full here.