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Central European Journal of Communication

Central European Journal of Communication

Scientific Journal of the Polish Communication Association

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You are here: Home > Browse Journal > Volume 14 No 2 (29) Fall 2021 > Media Exposure to Cnspiracy vs. Anti-conspiracy Information. Effects on the Willingness to Accept a COVID-19 Vaccine

Media Exposure to Cnspiracy vs. Anti-conspiracy Information. Effects on the Willingness to Accept a COVID-19 Vaccine

Raluca Buturoiu
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

Alexandru Cristian Dumitrache
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

Georgiana Udrea
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

Nicoleta Corbu
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic opened the doors for a corresponding “infodemic”, associated with various misleading narratives related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As the way to stop the pandemic was unveiled, misleading narratives switched from the disease itself to the vaccine. Nevertheless, a rather scarce corpus of literature has approached the effects of these narratives on the willingness to take a vaccine against COVID-19. This study investigates how exposure to conspiracy narratives versus information that counter these narratives influences people’s willingness to get vaccinated. Based on an experimental design, using a sample of Romanian students (N=301), this research shows that exposure to factual information related to COVID-19 vaccines meant to debunk conspiracy theories leads to higher willingness to vaccinate. Furthermore, this study shows that young, educated Romanians consider distant others to be more influenced by conspiracy theories on this topic, and, therefore, more prone to exhibit hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccination.

Full text: https://journals.ptks.pl/cejc/article/view/287/215

DOI: 10.51480/1899-5101.14.2(29).3

KEYWORDS: vaccine hesitancy, media exposure, disinformation, conspiracy theories, counter-conspiracy narratives

AUTHORS:

  • Raluca Buturoiu
    ORCID: 0000-0001-9841-0929
    National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

  • Alexandru Cristian Dumitrache
    ORCID: 0000-0002-2744-3990
    National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

  • Georgiana Udrea
    ORCID: 0000-0002-5692-4320
    National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania

  • Nicoleta Corbu
    ORCID: 0000-0001-9606-9827
    National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania