Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-1-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


This paper will compile demographic data and analyze their correspondence with trust of expert opinion in order to develop a profile of individuals who mistrust expert opinions. I will be using the American National Election Survey of 2020 as the central data source for this paper. I will also be using supplementary data from research into trust of expertise to create my profile. The mistrust of expert opinions has been an issue simmering in the background of American politics for quite some time. Previously its largest impact was on the discourse and policy surrounding climate change. Now it is also paramount in the efforts to fight the Covid-19 virus, as those skeptical of experts are refusing to take the vaccine for reasons with little scientific merit. The dependent variable being tested is the trust in expert opinions. The independent variables will be a collection of demographic indicators. I expect that this may be a result of the personally expensive medical system in place in the United States, and expect those with lower income to be more skeptical. I also expect religious fundamentalism to be a relevant indicator. Overall I hope my research here will uncover key contributors to the distrust of expertise that has undermined the social fabric of this country.


Presented at the virtual Fall 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.