What are the factors that contribute to an individual's belief in a particular conspiracy theory ?
Far from being the beliefs of a few fringe theorists, conspiracies are more widespread today than they've ever been. A national poll released last month indicated that as many as 37 percent of Americans believed that global warming is a hoax, 28 percent that the world is under threat from a New World Order and 21 percent were under the impression that the government is concealing evidence of extraterrestrial visitation. But what is it that leads to such beliefs ?
In a recent study, psychologists Micheal Wood, Karen Douglas and Robbie Suton suggested that belief in a conspiracy theory is not so much down to the specifics of the actual theory but pertains more to higher-order beliefs that lead to conspiracy-like thinking - an ideological lens through which the world is viewed. Those who generally distrust authority figures for instance are more likely to believe in conspiracies than those who don't.
"Did NASA fake the moon landing? Is the government hiding Martians in Area 51? Is global warming a hoax? And what about the Boston Marathon bombing…an “inside job” perhaps?."
View: Full article | Source: Scientific American
Discuss: View comments (172)