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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Show more Show less
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Studies show that the majority of people believe in at least one conspiracy theory. They’re becoming increasingly pervasive in our everyday lives, with it not being uncommon to hear conspiracy theories coming from commanders-in-chief. Why would someone believe something that others perceive as crazy?

People believe in conspiracy theories for psychological reasons Show more Show less

A large body of scientific evidence suggest conspiracy believers are often psychologically unbalanced.
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Conspiracy Believers often demonstrate psychological problems

Research has found believers suffer from paranoia, narcissism, and projection fantasies
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The Argument

According to research, people who believe in conspiracy theories are more likely to show personality traits such as distrust, Machiavellianism, and low agreeability. Machiavellianism refers to when a person is more interested in pushing their agenda forward by manipulative and deceitful behavior. Low agreeability refers to an individual's uncooperative and undependable traits. Consipracy theories are beliefs based on paranoia and fear, and not based on evidence or facts. [1] Negative beliefs or a sense of alienation can lead to one acting on their dangerous behaviors, such as the perpetrators of the Pittsburgh shooting and the pizzeria attack. Although theories are not weapons, a firm belief in them can cause one to act in a violent, weaponized manner. People who do not believe in vaccines because of some conspiracy theories are likely to put entire communities at risk. [2]

Counter arguments

Many conspiracy theories have been proven to be accurate, which unburdens the believers from the stereotype of having psychological problems. For instance, the conspiracy that the government is spying on their citizens was proven correct in 2016, when the government sent requests for user data to Facebook, Apple, and Google. [3]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/psychologist-explains-why-people-believe-conspiracy-theories-during-uncertain-times-2020-4
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-drawn-to-conspiracy-theories-share-a-cluster-of-psychological-features/
  3. https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/12-crazy-conspiracy-theories-actually-turned-out-be-true

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 14:28 UTC

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