Presenter Information

Brooke Kimet, Duquesne University, Psychology Department

Claire Shipley, Duquesne University, Psychology Department

Abstract

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, the CDC has implemented guidelines to help reduce its spread. Despite efforts, people often do not follow these guidelines, leaving many questions about why so many deviate. The current research examines the connection between religious belief, observance, and the mistrust of scientific findings in relation to adherence to CDC COVID guidelines. We created a survey measuring peoples’ religious beliefs, trust and mistrust of sources, and COVID-19 practices in a population of Christians. Analyses examined correlations between religious variables and pandemic-related behavior. One hypothesis suggests that, generally speaking, higher Christian religiosity will predict less adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. We found a correlation between specific religious beliefs and COVID related behavior. Namely, within a Christian population, more authoritative and absolute ways of thinking predicted less adherence to COVID-19 guidelines; specifically, those guidelines limiting socialization. These findings show how particular aspects of religiosity relate to deviance in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, moving beyond simple explanations that view religious groups monolithically. A better understanding of relationships between religiosity, trust in science, and COVID-19 practices may suggest ways that practices might be encouraged within different religious groups.

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Advisor

Alexander Kranjec, Ph.D.

Submission Type

Paper

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Christianity and COVID: Conservative Authoritarianism

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, the CDC has implemented guidelines to help reduce its spread. Despite efforts, people often do not follow these guidelines, leaving many questions about why so many deviate. The current research examines the connection between religious belief, observance, and the mistrust of scientific findings in relation to adherence to CDC COVID guidelines. We created a survey measuring peoples’ religious beliefs, trust and mistrust of sources, and COVID-19 practices in a population of Christians. Analyses examined correlations between religious variables and pandemic-related behavior. One hypothesis suggests that, generally speaking, higher Christian religiosity will predict less adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. We found a correlation between specific religious beliefs and COVID related behavior. Namely, within a Christian population, more authoritative and absolute ways of thinking predicted less adherence to COVID-19 guidelines; specifically, those guidelines limiting socialization. These findings show how particular aspects of religiosity relate to deviance in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, moving beyond simple explanations that view religious groups monolithically. A better understanding of relationships between religiosity, trust in science, and COVID-19 practices may suggest ways that practices might be encouraged within different religious groups.

 

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