ABSTRACT. This article presents an empirical study carried out to evaluate and analyze the relationship between dangerously inaccurate beliefs, emotional contagion, and conspiracy ideation. Building my argument by drawing on data collected from The Economist, Gallup, GlobalWebIndex, Knight Foundation, Ofcom, Pew Research Center, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Canberra, and YouGov, I performed analyses and made estimates regarding the main sources of false or misleading information about COVID-19. Data collected from 4,600 respondents are tested against the research model by using structural equation modeling.

Keywords: fake news; misinformation; COVID-19; pandemic fear; anxiety; stress

How to cite: Bratu, S. (2020). “The Fake News Sociology of COVID-19 Pandemic Fear: Dangerously Inaccurate Beliefs, Emotional Contagion, and Conspiracy Ideation,” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 19: 128–134. doi: 10.22381/LPI19202010

Received 18 April 2020 • Received in revised form 23 May 2020
Accepted 24 May 2020 • Available online 24 May 2020

Sofia Bratu
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Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania

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