All publications

Source Trust and COVID-19 Information Sharing: The Mediating Roles of Emotions and Beliefs About Sharing

Document Type


Publication Date



behavioral beliefs, COVID-19, emotions, health information sharing, negativity bias



Health information sharing has become especially important during the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic because people need to learn about the disease and then act accordingly. This study examines the perceived trust of different COVID-19 information sources (health professionals, academic institutions, government agencies, news media, social media, family, and friends) and sharing of COVID-19 information in China. Specifically, it investigates how beliefs about sharing and emotions mediate the effects of perceived source trust on source-specific information sharing intentions. Results suggest that health professionals, academic institutions, and government agencies are trusted sources of information and that people share information from these sources because they think doing so will increase disease awareness and promote disease prevention. People may also choose to share COVID-19 information from news media, social media, and family as they cope with anxiety, anger, and fear. Taken together, a better understanding of the distinct psychological mechanisms underlying health information sharing from different sources can help contribute to more effective sharing of information about COVID-19 prevention and to manage negative emotion contagion during the pandemic.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Health Education & Behavior, v. 48, issue 2, p. 132-139