Looking out for myself: Exploring the relationship between conspiracy mentality, perceived personal risk and COVID-19 prevention measures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bibtex - Download

@article{9e8f295cc4f3464abb1ce2a540592bcb,
title = "Looking out for myself: Exploring the relationship between conspiracy mentality, perceived personal risk and COVID-19 prevention measures",
abstract = "Objectives. This research examined how conspiracy mentality may affect compliance with preventive health measures necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and the underlying motivations to comply. Design and Method. We conducted two cross-sectional studies (Study 1 N = 762, Study 2 N = 229) on a French population, measuring conspiracy mentality, compliance with preventive health measures, and perceived risks related to COVID-19. We also measured motivations to comply with preventive measures in Study 2. Results. We show that people high in conspiracy mentality are likely to engage in non-normative prevention behaviours (Study 1), but are less willing to comply with extreme preventive behaviours that are government-driven (Study 2). However, we demonstrate that a perceived risk to oneself (risk of death) and a motivation to protect oneself can act as a suppressor: conspiracy mentality is linked with an increase in the perception of risk to oneself, which in turn, is associated with normative compliance. We also find that perceived risk of death explains the relationship between conspiracy mentality and non-normative prevention behaviours. Conclusions. Our studies showcase how people high in conspiracy theorizing may (dis)engage with prevention behaviours, but that perceived risk and motivation to protect oneself could increase these individuals{\textquoteright} compliance. ",
author = "Ga{\"e}lle Marinthe and Genavee Brown and Sylvain Delouv{\'e}e and Daniel Jolley",
year = "2020",
month = may,
day = "29",
language = "English",
journal = "British Journal of Health Psychology",
issn = "1359-107X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Looking out for myself

T2 - Exploring the relationship between conspiracy mentality, perceived personal risk and COVID-19 prevention measures

AU - Marinthe, Gaëlle

AU - Brown, Genavee

AU - Delouvée, Sylvain

AU - Jolley, Daniel

PY - 2020/5/29

Y1 - 2020/5/29

N2 - Objectives. This research examined how conspiracy mentality may affect compliance with preventive health measures necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and the underlying motivations to comply. Design and Method. We conducted two cross-sectional studies (Study 1 N = 762, Study 2 N = 229) on a French population, measuring conspiracy mentality, compliance with preventive health measures, and perceived risks related to COVID-19. We also measured motivations to comply with preventive measures in Study 2. Results. We show that people high in conspiracy mentality are likely to engage in non-normative prevention behaviours (Study 1), but are less willing to comply with extreme preventive behaviours that are government-driven (Study 2). However, we demonstrate that a perceived risk to oneself (risk of death) and a motivation to protect oneself can act as a suppressor: conspiracy mentality is linked with an increase in the perception of risk to oneself, which in turn, is associated with normative compliance. We also find that perceived risk of death explains the relationship between conspiracy mentality and non-normative prevention behaviours. Conclusions. Our studies showcase how people high in conspiracy theorizing may (dis)engage with prevention behaviours, but that perceived risk and motivation to protect oneself could increase these individuals’ compliance.

AB - Objectives. This research examined how conspiracy mentality may affect compliance with preventive health measures necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and the underlying motivations to comply. Design and Method. We conducted two cross-sectional studies (Study 1 N = 762, Study 2 N = 229) on a French population, measuring conspiracy mentality, compliance with preventive health measures, and perceived risks related to COVID-19. We also measured motivations to comply with preventive measures in Study 2. Results. We show that people high in conspiracy mentality are likely to engage in non-normative prevention behaviours (Study 1), but are less willing to comply with extreme preventive behaviours that are government-driven (Study 2). However, we demonstrate that a perceived risk to oneself (risk of death) and a motivation to protect oneself can act as a suppressor: conspiracy mentality is linked with an increase in the perception of risk to oneself, which in turn, is associated with normative compliance. We also find that perceived risk of death explains the relationship between conspiracy mentality and non-normative prevention behaviours. Conclusions. Our studies showcase how people high in conspiracy theorizing may (dis)engage with prevention behaviours, but that perceived risk and motivation to protect oneself could increase these individuals’ compliance.

M3 - Article

JO - British Journal of Health Psychology

JF - British Journal of Health Psychology

SN - 1359-107X

ER -