Correcting COVID-19 Misconceptions Requires Caution


Published Online in:
Educational Researcher
September 9, 2020

Greg Trevors, University of South Carolina‚Äč
Melissa C. Duffy, University of South Carolina‚Äč

Individuals generally revise their misconceptions when corrected with carefully designed educational materials. However, early reports suggest that correcting COVID-19 misconceptions may be especially challenging, which may be due to conflicts with individuals’ moral values and emotions. The present study explores the mechanisms and boundaries of correction effectiveness. Those highest in moral concerns for group cohesion or for individual freedoms were more likely to affectively or cognitively reject corrective information. Corrections of COVID-19 misconceptions should be carefully framed to connect with the morality of recipients and anticipate their emotional and cognitive reactions.

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Read the press release: "Correcting Covid-19 Misconceptions May Require Speaking to Individuals’ Moral Values, According to New Research.

Preferred Citation: Trevors, G., & Duffy, M. (2020). Correcting COVID-19 misconceptions requires caution. Educational Researcher. Prepublished September 9, 2020. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X20953825