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.
Hill, Naomi, "Anti-Intellectualism and American Fears: An Analysis of Social and Political Factors that Influence Distrust in Scientific Authority" (2021). Political Science Student Papers and Posters. 9.
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