Document Type

Senior Thesis

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In the last few decades of our history, strong sentiments of anti-intellectualism and distrust in scientific authority have developed and spread throughout American society. Recently, the outward displays of denial and distrust surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have demonstrated just how pervasive these views are becoming. This study looked at public opinion on a variety of anti-intellectual views among the American public. The main question this research was attempting to answer is what are the political and social correlates of anti-intellectualism? The data I used to test this question was the 2021 Chapman University Survey on American Fears. I looked specifically at questions within the survey that address public stances on climate change, vaccinations, and mask wearing (during the COVID-19 pandemic) along with the demographic characteristics of each response group. After running a variety of tests for each question to check for any correlations between the level of fear expressed and demographics, I found support for which social and political categories are more likely to subscribe to anti-intellectual beliefs like climate change denial, anti-vax, and anti-mask.


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


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