Socio-Cognitive Polarization hinders problem-solving, fake news discernment, and COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic and a general increased social-media consumption promoted a shift toward rigidity and absolutistic tendencies. The literature on social and cognitive factors underlying political conservatism, intolerance for ambiguity, and xenophobic reactions suggests that these individual characteristics share a common theoretical ground. Based on this assumption, we defined as Socio-Cognitive Polarization (SCP) a factor capturing absolutism, xenophobia, and conservative political ideology. To study how SCP predicted behavioral responses to cope with a global crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, three studies were conducted. Results from Study 1 revealed that SCP was the strongest predictor of believing in fake news during the early peak of the pandemic. Through a latent profile analysis approach, Study 2 iden- tified four groups of individuals who differed in problem-solving performance. Among these, those low in SCP, believing in bullshit (i.e., overestimating pseudo-profound statements) and overclaiming (i.e., tending to self-enhance) performed the best on problem-solving. Finally, in Study 3, SCP was found to negatively pre- dict COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, together with conspiracy believes and a lower perception of COVID-19 severity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30° Congresso dell’ Associazione Italiana di Psicologia AIP
Pages1677
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event30° Congresso dell’ Associazione Italiana di Psicologia AIP, - Padova
Duration: 27 Sept 202230 Apr 2024

Conference

Conference30° Congresso dell’ Associazione Italiana di Psicologia AIP,
CityPadova
Period27/9/2230/4/24

Keywords

  • socio-cognitive polarization

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