Confidence and attitudes of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia towards the sources and information about the COVID-19 virus

Hrvoje Prpić, Vlasta Kučiš

Abstract


In the first part an overview of initial social and behavioural studies on the topic of the pandemic caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus was presented. These studies were conducted in the early stages of the pandemic (Mar/Apr 2020) and they address various aspects of the impact of a COVID-19 pandemic: knowledge and information assessments, risk perception, assessments of citizens’ willingness to adapt and change their lifestyle to prevent the spread of the virus, and the impact of the pandemic’s social implications on the mental health and well-being of citizens. In the second part, the results of our research were presented. The research was based on a questionnaire conducted on a sample of 1,010 adult citizens of Croatia. The aim was to determine which sources of information about the COVID-19 virus citizens trust the most, what kind of information they trust and what the indications are for long-term mental adjustment to life with the virus. The results showed that citizens are most inclined to trust their family and friends and to a lesser extent, doctors and experts. In addition, the citizens of the Republic of Croatia are generally not inclined to relativize the danger of the virus - they do not perceive it as a common flu that is only dangerous for the elderly population. They are also not inclined to believe that COVID-19 is merely a fabrication by the Government or the pharmaceutical industry. We also found very low confidence in media information about the virus. Nevertheless, citizens are still inclined to seek out information about the virus. Finally, citizens show a willingness for mental adaptation, i.e., they have mostly come to terms with the idea that the virus will remain present in the long run, with the need to adapt to a new way of life.

Keywords


COVID-19 virus, pandemic, risk perception, trust, information sources, mental health

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS16220221903

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/