Thanks to a National Science Foundation RAPID grant to Dr. Ellen Peters, Director of the Center for Science Communication Research SCR, we collected data six times - February to December 2020 - from the same 505 Americans. Here’s a snapshot of some of our results in the

UO EPIDeMIC (The University of Oregon's Emotion & Polarization in Decisions & Media in COVID-19) Study.


Negative feelings towards the coronavirus peaked in mid-to-late March, with Worry consistently being the most expressed emotion.

*Participants had options from 1 (Does not apply/describe) to 4 (Completely describes), those who chose 3 & 4 were included in this analysis.


Trust in individuals and organizations questions for comparison.

Trump, media, and the American public were consistently the least trusted between 15% and 35%. On the other hand, scientists, doctors, and clinicians were consistently the most trusted between 75% and 90%.

The CDC began at high trust with scientists and doctors but then dropped to almost 60%.

Trust for President-Elect Biden was at almost 55% the one time this question appeared, 25% higher than President Trump’s peak level of trust (30%).

Likelihood estimates (0-100) of the virus becoming widespread in the U.S. increased most drastically in March, then slowly continued to increase.
U.S. infection estimates (median) increase exponentially. Actual number of infected in the U.S. by December 31st, 2020 was 20,060,000 (ourworldindata.com)

U.S. death estimates (median) increased exponentially. Actual number of deaths in the U.S. by December 31st, 2020 was 345,955 (ourworldindata.com)

*This question was not asked during the first wave of the study.