A novel theory on how conspiracy theories take shape
In a new book, Dolores Albarracín, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, and colleagues show that two factors—the conservative media and societal fear and anxiety—have driven recent widespread conspiracies, from Pizzagate to those around COVID-19 vaccines.
Millions embrace COVID-19 misinformation, which is linked to vaccine hesitancy
Millions continue to believe misinformation about vaccination and COVID-19, and these beliefs are associated with hesitancy to get themselves and their children vaccinated—or, if they are vaccinated, to get a booster for added protection.
Mandates likely work to increase vaccine uptake
Rather than causing a backlash, vaccination requirements will succeed at getting more people inoculated, according to research from PIK Professor Dolores Albarracín and colleagues at Penn.
1 in 3 Americans say they might consider abolishing or limiting Supreme Court
A new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that more than a third of Americans say they might be willing to abolish the Supreme Court or have Congress limit its jurisdiction.
When trust in science fosters pseudoscience
A study co-authored by PIK Professor Dolores Albarracín finds that people who trust science are more likely to believe and disseminate false claims containing scientific references than people who do not trust science.
Public trust in CDC, FDA, and Fauci holds steady, survey shows
The top U.S. health agencies retain the trust of the vast majority of the American public, as does Anthony Fauci, the public face of U.S. efforts to combat the virus, according to a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
Use of cell phones while driving may be tied to other risky road behaviors in young adults
Anew study finds that 18- to 24-year-olds who use cell phones while driving are more likely to engage in other risky driving behaviors associated with “acting-without-thinking,” a form of impulsivity.
Three in four people say COVID-19 vaccines effective and safer than getting virus
A national probability Annenberg Science Knowledge survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that about 15% of people are uncertain about the vaccine, but persuadable.
How news messages affect views on vaccination
News coverage of expert scientific evidence about vaccine safety is effective at increasing public acceptance of vaccines, but the positive effect is diminished when the expert message is juxtaposed with a personal narrative about real side effects.
The evolving science of face masks and COVID-19
Experts agree that masks should be used—and increasingly, they are emphasizing the use of better masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
In the News
Surprise! The pandemic has made people more science literate
Research led by Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that Americans know much more about vaccines and public health measures than they did at the onset of the pandemic.
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To reduce shootings, give guns on TV the cigarette treatment
Dan Romer and Patrick Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center argue that the U.S. should fund further research on how depictions of guns violence in entertainment media affect off-screen gun violence. “One might argue that seeing cigarette use is not morally objectionable and so it’s more likely to be imitated by adolescents the more it’s seen in use by appealing characters on the screen,” they write. “But the same is true for guns, when they are used by appealing characters for seemingly justified reasons.”
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