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Study debunks conspiracy theorist stereotypes

Posted on Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 | Comment icon 14 comments

A belief in conspiracies is not that unusual. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson / ImageCreator
A new study has concluded that there is nothing out of the ordinary about believing in conspiracies theories.
The research, which was conducted by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU), involved looking through and analyzing over two billion comments posted on Reddit over 8 years.

The findings indicated that people who believe in conspiracy theories do not conform to the typical negative 'tin foil hat' stereotypes often seen in movies and TV shows.

Instead, most conspiracy theorists are ordinary people living ordinary lives.

"In the past before the rise of online forums like Reddit, we tended to only hear about the most extreme views, and those people tended to naturally be wary about talking to someone else about their beliefs," said study lead author Dr. Colin Klein.
"These massive online forums paint a very different picture."

"For example conspiracy theories about police abuse of power are common. That's not so crazy. These people might believe false things, but with good reason - because similar things have happened in the past."

"It's very easy to look at conspiracy theories and think they're super wacky, and the people who believe in them are crazy, but it's actually much more continuous with a lot of things we do every day."

"Low level theorising goes on a lot in everyday life, I'm inclined to think the stuff you see online is just a strong outgrowth of that."

Source: | Comments (14)

Tags: Conspiracies

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 3 December, 2019, 21:11
Its a clear example of the Mandela effect.
Comment icon #6 Posted by freetoroam on 3 December, 2019, 21:32
Two billion comments by how people and what were the subjects?   Some conspiracy theorists are normal,  but the level of normalness will vary according to the subject. You can not compare a Silkwood C.P to a moon landing C.P.. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Piney on 3 December, 2019, 21:32
I have a retired H.S. principle next door who's a psychological genius with problem kids and she believes all the Edgar Cayce trash and that I was hiding things at the Smithsonian. Then I know a late middle age brilliant engineer who's a Young Earth Creationist. There's more to it. I just haven't figured it out.
Comment icon #8 Posted by AstralHorus on 3 December, 2019, 21:43
I trust u wouldn’t hide things from us piney, but your bosses though...
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney on 3 December, 2019, 21:44
Take it up with @Swede  
Comment icon #10 Posted by Great Old Man on 4 December, 2019, 7:17
Conspiracist always finds some possibility of real world. we shouldn't blame them all.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Farmer77 on 4 December, 2019, 8:20
Gotta be honest. Considering the news cycle lately my inner conspiracy theorist finds the timing of this "study" somewhat questionable.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Brok on 4 December, 2019, 11:04
Well, duh. People who have unorthodox views always get mocked and picked on by the masses. Of course people made those stereotypes up as part of their mocking based on how they view them.
Comment icon #13 Posted by jaylemurph on 5 December, 2019, 2:54
I’ve been to a lot of history department faculty meetings and have yet to run across a conspiridiot in one... —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #14 Posted by DieChecker on 5 December, 2019, 8:36
This got me thinking... I'm not big on Reddit, but are not a lot of people pretty much posting anonymously? So then are they simply taking those poster's word they are "normal"?

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