Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 12-14-2021


English and Journalism

Examining Committee Member

Tim Vance, PhD, Thesis Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Stephanie Anderson, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Carol Terracina-Hartman, PhD, Committee Member


Over the last decade, society’s reliance on social media for information, current events, and news has increased drastically. This research study examines whether Murray State University students’ social media usage and political affiliation correlates to influencing their beliefs, opinions, and attitudes surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Researched scholarship further explores the media’s impact on individuals and society, as well as the relationship between media, social media, and the COVID-19 vaccine. Media is a crucial way for health and government officials to relay pandemic information. The literature reveals that the media impacts societal communication and knowledge and opinions of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the impact on behaviors is still unknown. In this study, Murray State University students’ opinions and beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine show a correlation to their political affiliation, and a correlation to social media usage could not be found. This study evaluates whether political affiliation and social media usage influence students’ opinions and beliefs on the COVID-19 vaccine through correlation, not causation, and does not evaluate influence on student behavior.