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Politics in Central Europe ; 18(2):251-269, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1963313


As for the mitigation of the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the related crisis, governments should inter alia facilitate the willingness to vaccinate. However, related discussions became politicised, especially in countries with an extremely high level of partisan polarisation in opinions and media discourses, like in Hungary, which is the selected case of our study. As previous research about the United States shows, general trust in science is also influenced by the ideological alignment of individuals - people with conservative identification are more likely to question scientific results and recommendations, considering global warming, or the characteristics of the pandemic and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. In our study we examine two main questions: first, whether the ideological orientation and partisan alignment of Hungarian citizens influence their general trust in science, and second, whether the same factors influence their opinion on scientists' ability to develop effective vaccines against the coronavirus. Furthermore, we also investigate whether media consumption habits might influence these interrelations. According to the results of the representative online survey, the more conservative someone in Hungary identifies, the more likely they will be sceptical in terms of both questions. However, support of government or opposition parties does not determine whether they believe in the ability of scientists to develop effective vaccines, and it is influenced by their media consumption habits. We showed that (1) opposition supporters are much more different along their preferred media source than government supporters, (2) television watchers are of the same opinion independent of their party preference and (3) social media consumers are generally more likely to reject scientific results. The phenomenon that supporters of the conservative government and of the alliance of opposition parties are different in terms of their media consumption is a surprising finding in the polarised Hungarian context. We provide two main explanations for this. First, it is most probably the consequence of the government's intensive campaign that encouraged vaccination. Second, the government used the issue of vaccination as a source of legitimacy regarding the effectiveness of their crisis management. © 2022 Eszter Farkas et al., published by Sciendo.

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 205:1, 2022.
Article in English | English Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1881046