Mapping the world's opinions

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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Show more Show less

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 because of distrust of the mainstream Show more Show less

Those who distrust the mainstream in some sense are far more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.
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People believe in conspiracy theories because they are conspiracists

Many of those who believe in conspiracy theories have a worldview that is singularly geared towards supporting them.
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Context

The Argument

Certain people simply subscribe to a conspiracist world view, constantly believing in conspiracy theories.[1] People enter a cycle of belief where they are exposed to conspiracist views more and more, and are then more and more likely to believe them themselves.[2] Conspiracists do not simply happen to believe in each conspiracy theory they come across, but rather have an altered worldview which means they always elect to explain events as happening due to unseen forces. A world view of conspiracism also serves to explain why the perceived perpetrators of conspiracy theories are all painted in the same way: monolithic and unrelentingly evil.[3] This is not to say that everyone who believes in conspiracy theories has a conspiracist world view. However, there are certain parts of the population that everything is interconnected; that there is something behind the visible.[4]

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] Some people simply have a conspiracist worldview and therefore are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3791630
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21751999
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00313220601118751
  4. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Conspiracy-Theories-Secrecy-American-Culture/dp/0816654948

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This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 12:06 UTC