RESEARCH PAPER
The scientistic worldview and its relationships with fear of COVID, conspiracy beliefs, preventive behaviors, and attitudes towards vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic in a Polish sample
 
 
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Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Łukasz Jach   

Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Silesia, 53 Grażyńskiego Str., 40-126 Katowice, Poland, e-mail: lukasz.jach@us.edu.pl
Submission date: 2021-05-20
Final revision date: 2021-11-08
Acceptance date: 2021-11-15
Online publication date: 2022-11-09
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
The scientistic worldview is characterized by the tendency to justify beliefs and behavior with scientific findings and to function on the basis of theorems and opinions formulated by scientists. The aim of this study was to test whether the attitudes typical for the scientistic worldview could be related to beliefs and behaviors that may reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Participants and procedure:
The study was conducted on a Polish sample of 1286 participants, using an online survey platform. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires to measure attitudes towards vaccines on COVID-19, the scientistic worldview, fear of COVID, conspiracy beliefs about the COVID-19 pandemic, and preventive behaviors undertaken. Participants were also asked about their personal experiences with the pandemic.

Results:
The study showed that the scientistic worldview was associated with a higher fear of COVID, a higher level of con-tainment-related behavior, a lower level of conspiracy beliefs about the COVID-19 pandemic, and more positive atti-tudes towards vaccination against COVID-19. A structural model of relations between the studied variables turned out to be very effective and explained 51% of the variance of containment-related behavior and 63% of the variance of attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccines.

Conclusions:
The study found that preventive behaviors and attitudes towards vaccination against COVID-19 were weakly related to personal experiences during the pandemic but significantly correlated with psychological variables. The results suggest that very positive, scientistic attitudes towards science may be related to higher adherence to science-based public health recommendations.

 
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