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Why do people believe in conspiracies ?

Posted on Sunday, 5 May, 2013 | Comment icon 688 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

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 (688)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #679 Posted by Iron_Lotus on 19 February, 2014, 21:30
use to drink a gallon every two days when i was a kid could probably still do that.
Comment icon #680 Posted by stereologist on 19 February, 2014, 21:31
I get a kick out of seeing someone rely on demagogic opinion pieces thinking that the commentary from a person with an agenda is useful. Is it a conspiracy? No. It was Monsanto flexing muscle. Not a conspiracy.
Comment icon #681 Posted by DecoNoir on 19 February, 2014, 21:32
Perhaps I need to restate my question: Does one lie make an entity (U.S. Government in this case) responsible for every evil in this world? I simply ask this because it seems to be the logic you and several others seem to work under. Logic that I, as well as others find, most illogical. And no, posting more articles isn't an answer, it just makes it look like your dodging the question.
Comment icon #682 Posted by RaptorBites on 19 February, 2014, 21:34
Can't stand 2% or higher fat content milk. Skim is my choice, I still tolerate 1% every so often. Lol
Comment icon #683 Posted by Iron_Lotus on 19 February, 2014, 21:35
1% is the way to go for me cant stand skim and dont get me started on soy "milk" *shudders*
Comment icon #684 Posted by Sweetpumper on 19 February, 2014, 21:36
Almond milk isn't bad.
Comment icon #685 Posted by Iron_Lotus on 19 February, 2014, 21:37
i refuse to acknowledge it as milk lol wont do it, nope, noop.
Comment icon #686 Posted by RaptorBites on 19 February, 2014, 21:38
Was just telling IL in pm that almond milk in my veggie/fruit smoothies is my personal fave.
Comment icon #687 Posted by Saru on 19 February, 2014, 21:39
I think this thread is ready to be put to bed for more reasons than one. Thread closed

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