Not My Pandemic: Solution Aversion and the Polarized Public Perception of COVID-19

Haoran Chu, Janet Z. Yang, Sixiao Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Applying the solution aversion model in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we examine how ideology and support for free markets influence Americans’ assessment of COVID-19 risks and support for mitigation policies. Results from an experiment (N = 438) indicate that conservatives are more likely to dismiss the risks of COVID-19 when governmental regulations are highlighted. In contrast, liberals are less likely to support Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines when market-oriented solutions are highlighted. Findings from this study suggest that in addition to party elite cues, polarization in public opinions on the pandemic may also stem from solution aversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-528
Number of pages21
JournalScience Communication
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • ideology
  • polarization
  • solution aversion

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