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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?


Posted on Friday, 24 August, 2018 | Comment icon 55 comments

The researchers believe 'teleological thinking' may be the key. Image Credit: YouTube / Northrop Grumman
Scientists have discovered that there is a psychological link between conspiracy theorists and creationists.
Conspiracy theories are certainly nothing new, but with the current political climate, as well as the proliferation of 'fake news' in the press and on social media, there has been something of a resurgence in conspiratorial thinking over the last few years.

In a recent study, a team of scientists from France and Switzerland set out to determine exactly what it is that makes certain people more predisposed to believing in conspiracy theories than others.

Their research revealed that people who subscribe to the notion that "everything happens for a reason" or that things are "meant to be" are more likely to believe in conspiracies.

Intriguingly, they also likened this mindset to that of another group - creationists.

"We find a previously unnoticed common thread between believing in creationism and believing in conspiracy theories," said Dr Sebastian Dieguez of the University of Fribourg.

"Although very different at first glance, both these belief systems are associated with a single and powerful cognitive bias named teleological thinking, which entails the perception of final causes and overriding purpose in naturally occurring events and entities."

"We think the message that conspiracism is a type of creationism that deals with the social world can help clarify some of the most baffling features of our so-called 'post-truth era.'"

Source: Independent | Comments (55)

Tags: Conspiracy, Creationism

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #46 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 16 September, 2018, 2:14
People always tend to believe more readily what they want to believe.
Comment icon #47 Posted by Calibeliever on 16 September, 2018, 3:29
Is this necessary? I like this site because it's usually free of this kind of inflammatory trolling. 
Comment icon #48 Posted by Uber Doubter on 16 September, 2018, 8:30
Conspiracy theories exist because there have been numerous conspiracies. People have been experimented on, drugged without their consent, high ranking public figures have been murdered or committed convenient "suicides". The list goes on. It would be interesting to know who funded the research to link conspiracy theorists to creationism. Always follow the money to figure out what's going on. Ignore, ridicule, etc. The current fad of the "Flat earth segment" seems like a way of "muddying the waters" - feed as many wild theories into the "conspirosphere" (guessing that is a word) as possible, in... [More]
Comment icon #49 Posted by Aaron2016 on 20 September, 2018, 23:48
There are plenty of conspiracies involving the Titanic disaster.  Although many of them are false.  It all started because the 2nd officer who survived the sinking decided to write a book many years later and he questioned the official Inquiry that was held in the months that followed the disaster.  He wrote: "It was very necessary to keep one's hand on the whitewash brush......A washing of dirty linen would help no one.......The Board of Trade was holding an enquiry into the loss of the ship, hence the whitewash brush.....I know when it was all over I felt more like a legal doormat than a mai... [More]
Comment icon #50 Posted by Alien Origins on 21 September, 2018, 21:22
I was reading some where that one conspiracy theory has it that it was not the Titanic that went down but another ship...I do not recall the ships name but apparently it was costing more to operate than what it was taking in.....I will have to try and find that and post the link...
Comment icon #51 Posted by Obviousman on 21 September, 2018, 21:42
That's been thoroughly debunked; the ships were very different in many respects. Here is a reference to have a look at: http://www.titanicswitch.com/claims.html    
Comment icon #52 Posted by FurriesRock on 24 September, 2018, 13:26
People believe in conspiracy theories because history has proven that governments lie.
Comment icon #53 Posted by Obviousman on 24 September, 2018, 22:07
Yes but they don't lie all the time thus not every conspiracy claim is correct. You have to apply judgment, reasoning, logic, examine the credibility of evidence (if any) etc in order to determine if there is any basis for a conspiracy claim... and most simply do not stack up.
Comment icon #54 Posted by aztek on 4 October, 2018, 21:14
true, not every  conspiracy claim is correct. , but that also means  not every conspiracy claim is wrong.
Comment icon #55 Posted by NightScreams on 4 October, 2018, 22:23
And they are also terrible at keeping secrets for very long. But most of it is in regards to morality/ethical or questionable things. Like the CIA messing around with LSD on people, hiring a gangster to do what they legally couldn't, spying on citizens...things like that. The Alien and other type stuff is far too intricate, complex and far reaching to be a secret conspiracy.


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