Repository logo
 

The role of perceived minority-group status in the conspiracy beliefs of factual majority groups.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Change log

Authors

Gundersen, Aleksander B  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2642-4226
van der Linden, Sander 
Piksa, Michał 
Morzy, Mikołaj 

Abstract

Research suggests that minority-group members sometimes are more susceptible to misinformation. Two complementary studies examined the influence of perceived minority status on susceptibility to misinformation and conspiracy beliefs. In study 1 (n = 2140), the perception of belonging to a minority group, rather than factually belonging to it, was most consistently related with an increased susceptibility to COVID-19 misinformation across national samples from the USA, the UK, Germany and Poland. Specifically, perceiving that one belongs to a gender minority group particularly predicted susceptibility to misinformation when participants factually did not belong to it. In pre-registered study 2 (n = 1823), an experiment aiming to manipulate the minority perceptions of men failed to influence conspiracy beliefs in the predicted direction. However, pre-registered correlational analyses showed that men who view themselves as a gender minority were more prone to gender conspiracy beliefs and exhibited a heightened conspiracy mentality. This effect was correlationally mediated by increased feelings of system identity threat, collective narcissism, group relative deprivation and actively open-minded thinking. Especially, the perception of being a minority in terms of power and influence (as compared to numerically) was linked to these outcomes. We discuss limitations and practical implications for countering misinformation.

Description

Peer reviewed: True


Publication status: Published

Keywords

COVID-19, conspiracy beliefs, gender, minority groups, misinformation

Journal Title

R Soc Open Sci

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2054-5703
2054-5703

Volume Title

10

Publisher

The Royal Society
Sponsorship
EEA Grants (2019/35/J/HS6/03498)