Who Bought All the Toilet Paper? Conspiracy Theorists Are More Likely to Stockpile During the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Max) Hui Bai, University of Minnesota
Amount: $2,000.00

The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed many people’s lives. Some people have responded to the rising of the pandemic by engaging in panic buying behaviors, a phenomenon that has not been well-understood in the past. People who believe in these conspiracies may experience a heightened sense of powerlessness and vulnerability. As a result, they may be particularly susceptible to palliatively and compensatorily engage in the panic buying behaviors (i.e., stockpiling). Supporting this idea, two studies using data from the U.K. (cross-sectional) and the U.S. (longitudinal) show that people who endorse COVID-19 conspiracy theories are more likely to engage in stockpiling behaviors in the past as well as in the future.

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