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dc.contributor.authorFreeman, Daniel
dc.contributor.authorWaite, Felicity
dc.contributor.authorRosebrock, Laina
dc.contributor.authorPetit, Ariane
dc.contributor.authorCausier, Chiara
dc.contributor.authorEast, Anna
dc.contributor.authorJenner, Lucy
dc.contributor.authorTeale, Ashley-Louise
dc.contributor.authorCarr, Lydia
dc.contributor.authorMulhall, Sophie
dc.contributor.authorBold, Emily
dc.contributor.authorLambe, Sinead
dc.identifier.citationDaniel Freeman , Felicity Waite, Laina Rosebrock, Ariane Petit, Chiara Causier, Anna East, Lucy Jenner, Ashley-Louise Teale, Lydia Carr, Sophie Mulhall, Emily Bold and Sinéad Lambe.Coronavirus conspiracy beliefs, mistrust, and compliance with government guidelines in England. Psychological Medicine May 2020.en
dc.descriptionThis is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.en
dc.description.abstractBackground: An invisible threat has visibly altered the world. Governments and key institutions have had to implement decisive responses to the danger posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Imposed change will increase the likelihood that alternative explanations take hold. In a proportion of the general population there may be strong scepticism, fear of being misled, and false conspiracy theories. Our objectives were to estimate the prevalence of conspiracy thinking about the pandemic and test associations with reduced adherence to government guidelines. Methods: A non-probability online survey with 2501 adults in England, quota sampled to match the population for age, gender, income, and region. Results: Approximately 50% of this population showed little evidence of conspiracy thinking, 25% showed a degree of endorsement, 15% showed a consistent pattern of endorsement, and 10% had very high levels of endorsement. Higher levels of coronavirus conspiracy thinking were associated with less adherence to all government guidelines and less willingness to take diagnostic or antibody tests or to be vaccinated. Such ideas were also associated with paranoia, general vaccination conspiracy beliefs, climate change conspiracy belief, a conspiracy mentality, and distrust in institutions and professions. Holding coronavirus conspiracy beliefs was also associated with being more likely to share opinions. Conclusions: In England there is appreciable endorsement of conspiracy beliefs about coronavirus. Such ideas do not appear confined to the fringes. The conspiracy beliefs connect to other forms of mistrust and are associated with less compliance with government guidelines and greater unwillingness to take up future tests and treatment.en
dc.description.sponsorshipSupported by the NIHRen
dc.subjectConspiracy Beliefsen
dc.titleCoronavirus conspiracy beliefs, mistrust, and compliance with government guidelines in Englanden

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