“I feel it in my gut”: Epistemic motivations, political beliefs, and misperceptions of COVID-19 and the 2020 Election | Annenberg School for Communication
The extent to which we value intuitive or evidence-based reasoning has important implications for our susceptibility to misinformation. National survey data from Nov-Dec 2020 demonstrate that Trump favorability, conservatism, and Republicanism are associated with instinct-based epistemic values and a rejection of expertise and evidence. Results also indicate that these same epistemic motivations increase one’s likelihood of believing in misinformation in matters of both public and democratic health. Implications for democratic and public health will be discussed.
Dannagal G. Young (Ph.D. ’07) is a Professor of Communication and Political Science at the University of Delaware where she studies the content, audience, and effects of nontraditional political information. She has published over forty academic articles and book chapters on the content, psychology, appeal, and effects of political information, satire, and misinformation. Her book “Irony and Outrage” (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines satire and outrage as the logical extensions of the respective psychological profiles of liberals and conservatives. Her current book project, “Wrong: How Identity Fuels Misinformation and How to Fix It,” is under development with JHU Press.