Cognitive Reflection and the Coronavirus Conspiracy Beliefs
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us of how quickly conspiracy ideas can spread and how dire their consequences could be. One important question is what traits would predict susceptibility to conspiracy beliefs. Previous research pointed to one of those traits: reflective versus intuitive cognitive style.
Method: Here we examined how cognitive style correlates with founded and unfounded beliefs about the origin of COVID-19. A sample of 173 Iranians rated the likelihood of different beliefs about the origin of the new coronavirus and answered the original Cognitive Reflection Test.
Results: In line with previous research, the reflective responses were negatively correlated with conspiracy beliefs and positively correlated with the founded statement (that the virus was spread from wild animals by chance). The reverse pattern was found for the intuitive responses.
Conclusion: The results accrue more evidence in support of a relationship between reflective-analytic style of thinking and the tendency to reject conspiracy beliefs.
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