Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Brian Day

Second Advisor

Shelley Etnier


The present study surveys the role that mass media consumption and COVID-19 plays on people's trust in healthcare as well as their health behaviors. Current research has shown that misinformation about COVID-19 is likely to be spread by the media to influence people's opinions on healthcare. This study provides a more in depth look on how media information impacts trust in the healthcare system and subsequent health behaviors in the midst of a pandemic. 202 participants completed a survey measuring media usage and health behaviors, with 38% identifying as students. The results revealed a strong positive correlation between trust in the media and trust in the healthcare system, indicating that the media has a significant effect on individuals' health beliefs. The correlation between trust in media and healthcare provides an understanding that overall trust affects health behaviors and willingness to seek out professional medical assistance.