Political leaders’ attitudes toward COVID-19 risk are highly infectious – just like climate change denial

Coming from a political leader, Trump’s words and behaviors downplaying the risks are potent. My research as a professor who studies risk perception shows that in a highly polarized environment, political leaders’ rhetoric can play a significant role in shaping risk perceptions among their loyal followers.

If the leader deems the risk to be small, his or her supporters will be more likely to share that view. If the leader does not strictly follow rules on wearing masks and social distancing, the supporters are more than likely to follow suit.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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