Unveiling the Foundations: Dr. Ognjen Riđić Explores the Structure of Unfounded Beliefs about COVID-19 Worldwide

Prof. Ognjen Riđić

In the role of Research Project Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), serving as a representative for the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) and overseeing the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA) and the Management (MAN) study program, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ognjen Riđić, published the latest academic primary research article, titled "Testing the underlying structure of unfounded beliefs about COVID-19 around the world."

This significant research is part of the international mega project titled "COVID-19, personality and quality of life: Self-enhancement in the time of pandemic," initiated in April 2020. The article has been published in the esteemed UK-based journal, Thinking and Reasoning, renowned for its Science Citation Imago (SCImago) Q1-ranking and an impressive h-Index of 53, specifically within the social and behavioral scientific area of experimental and cognitive psychology. 

With active participation from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), involving a sample of N = 386 participants, this international primary quantitative research study encompassed 50 countries worldwide. The aggregate final sample size reached N = 13,557 participants, collected during the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic and pandemic from April to December 2020.

A primary aim of this international study was to consider the cultural context of social behaviors and quality of life. The main research problem focused on explaining the psychological determinants of quality of life resulting from experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular emphasis on behaviors and medical beliefs, following the Health Beliefs Model.

In conclusion, the study significantly contributes to knowledge about the structure of unfounded beliefs. It underscores the potential relevance of affective factors, such as the fear of COVID-19, and cognitive factors, including cynicism, along with demographics, in endorsing such beliefs. In summary, cross-cultural evidence was obtained, highlighting the distinctiveness of unfounded conspiracy and health beliefs about COVID-19 in terms of their structure and correlates.

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