IACM 2022 Abstract Book »
Interdependent Self-Construal as a Mitigating Factor in the Relationship Between Political Identity, COVID-19 Conspiratorial Beliefs, and Negative Attitudes Toward Vaccination
As people who hold COVID-19 conspiratorial beliefs are less likely to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is important to both understand what leads to the formation of these beliefs and how to eliminate their downstream adverse effects. We examine political identity as a key driver of COVID-19 conspiratorial beliefs and suggest that these beliefs negatively affect attitudes towards vaccinations. Furthermore, we propose that increasing interdependent self-construal (i.e., seeing oneself through the lens of one's social relationships), is an effective social intervention that weakens the link between COVID-19 conspiratorial beliefs and negative attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines. Two studies established that compared to Democrats and Independents, Republicans are more likely to believe in COVID-19 conspiracy theories and as a result, hold more negative vaccination attitudes. Moreover, this effect weakened for people who possess high levels of interdependent self-construal because these individual perceived greater social risks in the environment.