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During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts asked people to take steps to help stop the spread of the virus. These included wearing face masks, limiting contact with other people, and getting vaccinated. We wondered why some people followed recommendations while others did not. We thought what people believed about COVID-19 mattered. We also thought the way they think about their beliefs may be important.

We asked people about their COVID-19 beliefs. Some beliefs were true, and some were not. Then we asked these people how confident they were that their beliefs were correct.

We found that people who evaluated their beliefs more correctly were more likely to follow public health advice. Our results show that it’s important to be right, but it’s also important to know you might be wrong.

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