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Who Do We Trust -- And Why?


Who do we trust and why? When we think about COVID, in the U.S. and Great Britain, doctors, scientists and media are at the top of our lists of the most trusted sources of information. But why would we trust those sources the most? Michigan State University assistant professor Dr. Joseph Hamm, of the university's School of Criminal Justice, explores key insights from new research into who the public trusts to communicate information about COVID and why the public trusts those sources of information above others. His research team conducted extensive focus group conversations and national surveys in two countries -- the United States and Great Britain.

He shared new research results with podcasters Director Dr. Matt Grossmann, Associate Director Arnold Weinfeld and Economist Dr. Charles Ballard from MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) in MSU's College of Social Science.

See the full report published this month from The British Academy. In publishing the report, the British Academy noted that the 10 research projects examined "various aspects of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and engagement in the UK and US."

"The projects include analyses of specific regional differences within the two countries, the factors influencing engagement with the vaccine – for instance, the influence of exposure to anti-vax protests or the effect of historic racial health inequalities – and the different ways that attitudes towards the vaccine are communicated and addressed."

See Dr. Hamm's research seminar on "Vulnerability and Trust."

IPPSR is the home of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the Office for Survey Research, State of the State Survey, Legislative Leadership Program, Rosenthal Legislative Internship Program, more than 60 affiliate faculty members, student policy fellows and major research databases on topics of interest to academic researchers, legislators, policy makers, elected leaders and journalists around the world.

IPPSR’s monthly State of the State Podcast is broadcast with the assistance of WKAR Radio along with radio stations on the air and over the internet, on SoundCloud and ITunes. You'll also find this edition of the State of the State Podcast on MSU Today with Russ White(link is external). IPPSR extends its thanks to MSU University Communications and all those who support the efforts necessary to make this production possible.

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