Fewer people believe in conspiracy theories despite Covid
Conspiracy theories were among the most hotly debated issues during the Covid-19 pandemic. A representative study by the Institute of Delinquency and Crime Prevention at the ZHAW School of Social Work has explored Swiss people’s attitudes and how their views changed as a result of the pandemic. Based on two representative surveys conducted in the spring of 2018 and early summer of 2021, the study revealed a significant drop in the percentage of people who have a conspiracy mindset, from 36% to 27%.
Off-putting attitudes and actions
ZHAW researcher Dirk Baier offered the following explanation for this surprising finding: “Conspiracy theorists were very outspoken and loud in their protests against what they perceived to be a ‘Covid dictatorship’”. Their agitation on social media made them more visible. This type of behaviour may appeal to some, but most people are likely to have been put off by their attitudes and actions. Baier assumes that the percentage of people who believe in conspiracy theories will decrease even further. However, he thinks the followers that remain are likely to become even more extreme and further radicalised.