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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Conspiracy Theories About Infectious Diseases

30.07.2020, by Tina Keil in call for papers

Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology
Abstract deadline: October 31st, 2020


The guest editors (Ying-yi Hong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hoi-Wing Chan, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Karen Douglas, University of Kent) welcome new research on the psychology of conspiracy theories about infectious diseases (and/or their treatments and prevention).

Conspiracy theories often proliferate when there are infectious disease outbreaks. Being exposed to, and believing in, these theories could have detrimental consequences for the self, others, and society at large. Conspiracy beliefs could also have significant consequences for the prevention, treatment, and aftermath of disease outbreaks. Against this backdrop, we consider it essential to collect and disseminate impactful and high-quality research shedding light on the psychological understanding of conspiracy beliefs about infectious diseases (e.g., COVID-19, SARS, Zika, Ebola, etc.) and their treatments and prevention. We are open to studies located in any part of the world, and to research involving single, or multiple locations.

This call extends a hearty welcome to (but is not restricted to) submissions on the psychology of conspiracy theories about infectious diseases, including:

  • Their situational, contextual and dispositional antecedents;
  • Their attitudinal and behavioural consequences;
  • Communication of such conspiracy theories (e.g., How do they spread? Who is more likely to spread them?)
  • Psychological factors that dampen or motivate such conspiracy beliefs and/or buffer their adverse effects;
  • Intervention strategies that protect people from believing in such conspiracy theories and/or buffer their adverse effects

Interested authors should submit a 2-page, single-spaced abstract to Ying-yi Hong ( by October 31, 2020. The abstract must present completed empirical work and illustrate the relevance of psychological concepts and theories to conspiracy beliefs about infectious diseases (and/or their treatments and prevention). The abstract should include: (1) a tentative title, (2) a theoretical background and purpose of the investigation, (3) the methods and principal results, and (4) the major conclusions. Citations are allowed, and references should be listed on a separate page.

Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology (JPRP) has gone beyond its original regional focus, and papers from all areas of the world are welcome for the special issue. JPRP is an open access journal and the article processing charges will be waived for authors.

Anticipated timeline:

  • October 31, 2020: Deadline for submitting a 2-page abstract for each paper via email to the guest editor (Ying-yi Hong; email:
  • November 30, 2020: Invitation for submission of full paper.
  • March 1, 2021: Deadline for the full papers.
  • May 15, 2021: First editorial decision with “reject” or “revise & resubmit.”
  • June 30, 2021: Deadline for the revision
  • July-August, 2021: Further revision and final editorial decision.
  • Fall, 2021: Publication of the special issue.

We look forward to your contribution!

Special issue Guest Editors:
Ying-yi Hong (
Hoi-Wing Chan (
Karen Douglas (