Use of Conservative and Social Media Linked with COVID-19 Misinformation

People who relied on conservative or social media in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak were more likely to be misinformed about how to prevent the virus and believe conspiracy theories about it, a study of media use and public knowledge has found.

Based on an Annenberg Science Knowledge survey fielded in early March with over a thousand adults, the study was conducted by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Annenberg Researchers Shift Focus to Coronavirus

Annenberg researchers study everything from the ongoing crisis in journalism, to how gig workers use apps to make a living, to efforts to get smokers to quit. But no matter their area of specialty, many Annenberg faculty and students have responded to recent events by pivoting their work to address what may be the world’s most urgent problem: coronavirus, or COVID-19. Debunks Coronavirus Myths

Since China first reported an atypical cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan in late December, the internet has been swarming with myths about the coronavirus. To combat misinformation about the virus, APPC’s has published a series of articles.

What is Your Risk from Smoking? Your Network Knows!

How many people will die from tobacco use in developed countries in 2030?

A new study from researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication found that most people — smokers and non-smokers alike — were nowhere near accurate in their answers to this and other questions about the health effects of smoking. But critically, the study, conducted by doctoral candidate Douglas Guilbeault and Professor Damon Centola, found a way to help people be more accurate in their assessment of smoking’s risks: discussing their ideas with other people.

Annenberg Presentations at NCA 2019

Eight Annenberg faculty members and graduate students will present at the National Communication Association’s 105th Annual Convention, to be held November 14-17 in Baltimore. The presentations are listed below, along with locations.

Thursday, November 14


The Effects and Prevention of Smoking, Vaping, and Chewing (Hilton Baltimore, Key Ballroom 12)

Donald Trump’s Election Did Not Increase Political Polarization

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree that American politics are highly partisan. Partisanship has been on the rise since the 1970s, and the consensus among the media seems to be that political polarization has skyrocketed since the beginning of the campaign season for the 2016 presidential election.

Signaling the Trustworthiness of Science

Public confidence in science has remained high and stable for years. But recent decades have seen incidents of scientific fraud and misconduct, failure to replicate key findings, and growth in the number of retractions — all of which may affect trust in science.


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