Faith and science mindsets as predictors of COVID-19 concern: A three-wave longitudinal study

Kathryn A. Johnson, Amanda N. Baraldi, Jordan W. Moon, Morris A. Okun, Adam B. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic allowed for a naturalistic, longitudinal investigation of the relationship between faith and science mindsets and concern about COVID-19. Our goal was to examine two possible directional relationships: (Model 1) COVID-19 concern ➔ disease avoidance and self-protection motivations ➔ science and faith mindsets versus (Model 2) science and faith mindsets ➔ COVID-19 concern. We surveyed 858 Mechanical Turk workers in three waves of a study conducted in March, April, and June 2020. We found that science mindsets increased whereas faith mindsets decreased (regardless of religious type) during the early months of the pandemic. Further, bivariate correlations and autoregressive cross-lagged analyses indicated that science mindset was positive predictor of COVID-19 concern, in support of Model 2. Faith mindset was not associated with COVID-19 concern. However, faith mindset was a negative predictor of science mindset. We discuss the need for more research regarding the influence of science and faith mindsets as well as the societal consequences of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104186
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Longitudinal
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Social motivations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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