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Health information seeking is vital for the public to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. By analyzing 394 survey responses, this article discovers that the Internet is the top channel for COVID-19 information seeking. As this pandemic has become highly politicized, this study further explores how Liberalism and Conservatism ideologies impact the effectiveness of the comprehensive model of information seeking (CMIS) in predicting COVID-19 information-seeking. Compared to people with the Conservatism ideology, individuals with the Liberalism ideology report more COVID-19 information-seeking actions. ANOVA analyses show that Liberals report stronger salience, perceive higher trustworthiness of online COVID-19 information, are more likely to think of seeking online COVID-19 information as useful and helpful, and express stronger efficacy to mitigate the risk. Regression analyses reveal that most CMIS variables predicted Liberals’ information seeking; however, only salience significantly predicted Conservatives’ information seeking. These findings offer implications for information-seeking theory development and health information design.

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This page is a summary of: Political ideology and differences in seeking COVID-19 information on the internet: examining the comprehensive model of information seeking, Online Information Review, March 2023, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/oir-08-2022-0436.
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