Evidence of the psychological effects of pseudoscientific information about COVID-19 on rural and urban populations

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Abstract

This research aims to analyze the effects of pseudoscientific information (PI) about COVID-19 on the mental wellbeing of the general population. A total of 782 participants were classified according to the type of municipality in which they lived (rural municipalities and urban municipalities). The participants answered psychometric questionnaires that assessed psychological well-being, pseudoscientific beliefs and the ability to discriminate between scientific and pseudoscientific information about COVID-19. The results indicated the following: the greater the ability to discriminate between false information and true information, the greater the levels of psychological well-being perceived by the participant. The ability to discriminate predicts up to 32% of psychological well-being only for subjects living in rural municipalities. Residents in urban municipalities showed lower levels of well-being than residents in rural municipalities. It is concluded that new social resources are needed to help the general population of urban municipalities discriminate between pseudoscientific and scientific information.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113628
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume295
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Pseudoscientific Information
  • Psychological Well-being
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • rural municipalities

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