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Conspiracy theorists 'commit more crimes'


Posted on Friday, 1 March, 2019 | Comment icon 16 comments

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson / ImageCreator
A new study has linked a belief in conspiracy theories with an increased likelihood of committing minor crimes.
The research, which was conducted by two universities in the UK, determined that people who subscribe to conspiracy theories have a higher tendency to commit petty criminal acts.

"Our research has shown for the first time the role that conspiracy theories can play in determining an individual's attitude to everyday crime," said Karen Douglas, a psychologist at Kent University.

"It demonstrates that people subscribing to the view that others have conspired might be more inclined toward unethical actions."

Much of this may be due to a phenomenon known as 'anomie', a condition that evolves from a conflict of belief systems resulting in a breakdown of social bonds between the individual and the community.

Believing that there is a conspiracy can also decrease a person's feeling of 'belonging' in a society.

The researchers were keen to note however that while the study does imply a link, it doesn't necessarily mean that conspiracies directly cause people to commit more crimes.

"This research highlights that everyday crime might be a flexible and dynamic response to the social context, and in particular to how social norms are perceived to be followed (or not) by powerful groups in society," the study authors wrote.

"Engaging in everyday crime may be empowering for people who perceive that the world is full of conspiring powerful elites who ought to be challenged."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (16)

Tags: Conspiracy, Crime

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by godnodog on 2 March, 2019, 8:01
"People who believe in conspiracy theories might be more likely to engage in petty crime, and no, this is not a conspiracy."   From a scientific perspective, I am skeptic about this statement.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Habitat on 2 March, 2019, 8:45
I do think people that readily default to thinking that others are up to no good, are guided to some extent by the template of their own natures, and imagine others must be as "bent" as they are. After all, it is much easier to justify dishonesty to yourself, if others are thought to be no better. You are just "going with the flow", "what goes around, comes around".
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hawken on 2 March, 2019, 9:17
And most universities are Liberal.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 2 March, 2019, 9:19
Oh yeah, all those gang members and career criminals.... conspiracy theorists.  Yah 
Comment icon #11 Posted by EnderOTD on 2 March, 2019, 9:41
Sokal Squared comes to mind.  Makes one think how much tripe has never been peer reviewed and published and accepted as fact.  https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/grievance-studies-hoax?full=1  
Comment icon #12 Posted by Seti42 on 2 March, 2019, 10:16
Yeah, because most people who value education, knowledge, art, culture, logic, research, evidence, etc. are liberal.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Gary Meadows on 2 March, 2019, 13:08
And most pointless political comments come from Conservatives.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Trenix on 3 March, 2019, 22:33
I'm pretty sure that's a conspiracy, I'd like a name of any university that isn't.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Trenix on 3 March, 2019, 22:37
Knowledge, evidence, logic? Aren't you the ones that believe in a rape epidemic within universities?
Comment icon #16 Posted by Podo on 7 March, 2019, 22:51
This doesn't really surprise me, unfortunately. It is the uneducated that commit most crimes, as well as who believe stupid conspiracy drivel. Lack of education is likely the root cause of both behaviours.


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