NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2020, Book 1

Education and educational research

HOW THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC DETERMINED THE AMPLITUDE OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES

PhD Candidate, Alexandra-Niculina Babii

ABSTRACT

In difficult situations as covid-19 crisis, people try to find explanations in order for their mind not to be in an alert state anymore. The new pandemic did not spread only the SARS-COV-2 virus, but also it spread a lot of misinformation and disinformation, a lot of fake news and plenty of conspiracy theories. Even if before covid-19 there were this kind of theories in which some people strongly believed, after the start of the pandemic, the covid-19 conspiracy theories increased and also they determined harmful actions in the society. This paper presents the most popular conspiracy theories and what are their common ground. Most of the theories are not new, they are just updated and created based on instant connections between new events. This study presents a literature revew on different explanations on why the covid-19 conspiracy theories are more popular. It takes into consideration lack of critical thinking together with the biased minds and presents cognitive dissonance as a posible cause. At the same time, the fear of the unknown at high intensity influenced the belief in these theories. The lockdown during the pandemic determined plenty of people to spend more time online which determined the rise of misleading information. It cannot be denied that the bad management of some authorities had some influence. In the end, some conspiracy believers have some mental models already formed that are fertile ground for these theories. What can be a solution for this phenomenon to decrease?

KEYWORDS

Covid-19, conspiracy theories, critical thinking, disinformation, fake news

REFERENCE

NORDSCI International Conference 2020, Book 1, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-11-9, HOW THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC DETERMINED THE AMPLITUDE OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES, 69-76 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2020/B1/V3/07