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rashore

Why people believe in conspiracy theories

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rashore
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Why people believe in conspiracy theories, with Karen Douglas, PhD

This past year, COVID-19 and the U.S. elections have provided fertile ground for conspiracy theories—with sometimes disastrous consequences. Karen Douglas, PhD, of the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, discusses psychological research on how conspiracy theories start, why they persist, who is most likely to believe them and whether there is any way to combat them effectively.

https://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/conspiracy-theories

 

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Katniss

That was interesting. This part of what she is saying has got to be the biggest reason IMO.

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And some psychological evidence suggests that people are drawn to conspiracy theories when they do feel uncertain either in specific situations or more generally. And there are other epistemic reasons why people believe in conspiracy theories as well in relation to this sort of need for knowledge and certainty. So people with lower levels of education tend to be drawn to conspiracy theories. And we don't argue that's because people are not intelligent. It's simply that they haven't been allowed to have, or haven't been given access to the tools to allow them to differentiate between good sources and bad sources or credible sources and non-credible sources. So they're looking for that knowledge and certainty, but not necessarily looking in the right places.

 

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Scholar4Truth

Simply it makes the world more interesting then it tends to be at times.

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DodgyDaoist

Interesting read up to a point, but then one can see the study is more about a look into what can be done about people not following or supporting certain political agenda's and looking at methods to counter those non-followers.

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naturally a lot of people are very concerned at the moment that we're seeing a bit of a spike and believing conspiracy theories with the whole coronavirus situation and also in the USA with the recent presidential election

and at the end of the article

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my research is focused a lot on the consequences of believing in conspiracy theories as well. So, in different areas like in vaccines, climate change, politics in various different domains, specifically what impact do conspiracy theories have on people's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

Little to do with alternative theories, (conspiracies) more to do with politics.

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Manwon Lender

I believe it's mainly because people are to lazy to research a subject. If they read something that appeals to their beliefs they just go with the flow and except these theories at face value as sad as that sounds.

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Scholar4Truth

One thing of course is that Conspiracies do exist ie Watergate, Assassinations etc. The question is what evidence is there to support it. Also a good dose of Occam's Razor is needed as well. If a simple explanation is ruled out then there maybe validity to it. 

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