Russian News Media, Digital Media, Informational Learned Helplessness, and Belief in COVID-19 Misinformation

Erik C. Nisbet*, Olga Kamenchuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has been paired with a global misinformation "infodemic."Citizens in authoritarian countries, where most media is state controlled, often do not have access to credible information sources to help combat misinformation. In fact, the news media in these countries may be the primary drivers of misinformation while digital media may be sources of more accurate information. We test how news and digital media in an authoritarian context are associated with endorsing misinformation while introducing the concept of informational learned helplessness as an additional factor driving inaccurate beliefs. We test our hypotheses employing data from a nationally representative telephone survey of the Russian public (N = 1600) and discuss the implications of our findings for Russian attitudes about COVID-19 vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-590
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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