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Study: Worrying About COVID is Making Americans Stupid, Performing ‘Poorly’ on Simple Cognitive Tests

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Worrying about COVID-19 isn’t just making you miserable, depressed and anxious but also stupid. According to a study conducted by McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute Hospital, “authors concluded that people more worried about coronavirus and its effects performed worse at information processing tests and had a distorted view of risk levels” reports Daily Mail UK.

The study surveyed 1,500 Americans online from April to June of 2020, and found that “those who are worried about the COVID-19 pandemic are slower at processing information, worse at retaining information and more likely to overestimate negative odds than their less anxious counterparts.”

By comparing pre and post-pandemic groups given the same tests, those surveyed in June of 2020 after strict lockdown measures were in place, exhibited “slower processing speed, lower task-switching accuracy, and were more sensitive to risk.”

Participants rated their individual level of worry and then completed an information processing test. “Individuals reporting greater pandemic-related worry appeared more sensitive to described risk level,” the authors say.

As the pandemic progressed, the third wave of test-takers in June of 2020 showed slower processing speeds, a lower ability to maintain goals in mind, and were more sensitive to risk than those in the first wave.

According to study author Kevin Da Silva Castanheira, a psychology grad student at McGill, “the impairments associated with worry observed here suggest that under periods of high stress, like a global pandemic, our ability to think, plan, and evaluate risk is altered.”

The study suggests “the persistently impaired task performance may reflect the impact of prolonged (i.e. chronic) exposure to stress or a shift in the sources of worry.” Additionally, anxious respondents may be more sensitive to risk because they’re more likely to “seek out information” such as “greater exposure to media” which most likely discusses risk.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. WILLIAM FLYNN

    January 3, 2022 at 9:41 am

    It’s the DUMBING DOWN of Society and is all part of the overall plan for a NEW WORLD ORDER ! It causes people to look for a “leader” to get them out of the created rut by CORRUPT Governments and take away our rights and freedoms !! Time for people to stand up and revolt !! Take your life back !! You’re NOT OWNED by the Government !! Once FREEDOM is taken away it’s NEVER given back !

  2. susan k korabik

    January 3, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    this study has it backwards. stupid people are likely to be more worried about covid than intelligent people.its a case of what comes first the chicken or the egg.

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