Confidence in science increased after the start of the epidemic

The researchers found that confidence in science grew during and after the pandemic. They came to this conclusion after conducting a series of surveys.

The research focused on investigating factors related to vaccination resistance. In one such survey, researchers asked more than 8,000 Americans from five states. Another survey asked nearly 7,000 people in 23 countries. Finally, one of them included more than 120,000 participants in 126 countries.

Using these questionnaires, the research team found that trust in science was a key factor in determining whether people intended to be vaccinated.

But what influenced the increase in confidence in science?

Scholars speak of “cognitive trust” which is based on trusting someone as a reliable source of information. When determining trustworthiness, there are three main factors: how we perceive the expert’s level of expertise, integrity, and tenderness.

The study was crucial to discovering the reason for this change in confidence in science. It was a research that was done in Germany. This measures confidence in science during the pandemic and the factors that influenced it.

For the study, 900 volunteers who were surveyed were used. The data obtained from it revealed that trust in science increased significantly after the start of the epidemic. This was due to positive assumptions about the expertise of scientists in their field.

On the other hand, the reason behind distrust of scientists is a lack of benevolence on the part of those who fund research in science. This situation could change if scientific communication emphasized the good intentions, values, and independence of scientists.

Another study conducted in the United Kingdom examined perceptions of scholars’ expertise, integrity, and benevolence. Thanks to this research, it was possible to find out why people do not trust vaccination. This is because they are concerned about the side effects that may appear after application.

People trust science more after the pandemic. via pexels.

We trust scientists even when they admit they don’t know the answer

It has been proven by recent empirical studies that people are willing to trust those who can admit that they do not have a definite answer. Admitting our mistakes or conveying uncertainty is not harmful and may even be beneficial for trust.

By communicating our uncertainties transparently, we are seen as less prejudiced and willing to tell the truth.

Another characteristic of trustworthiness is that it can also be undermined by what is known as ‘association guilt’ or moral contagion, which is the psychological mechanism behind this belief.

This psychological process of “moral contagion” can affect our trust in many organizations or people who cooperate closely with each other. In the current climate, any person or organization that wants to be truly trusted must work to communicate their expertise, honesty and benevolence, and encourage those with whom they work to do the same.

references:

Why trust experts, even when they admit they don’t know the answer: https://phys.org/news/2022-03-experts-dont.html

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