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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 distrust the media

Distrust of the ‘mainstream media’ is increasingly common, and has led to the spreading of conspiracy theories.
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Context

The Argument

The media is increasingly portrayed as untrustworthy and calling an outlet part of the mainstream media is increasingly an insult. The media is no longer trusted to bring people even-handed reporting. People are driven away from the mainstream media and search for their news elsewhere, leading them to instead trust small outlets who may simply be peddling conspiracies. This inherent distrust of the media creates a closed circle of reasoning. Evidence directly disproving a conspiracy theory can be disregarded simply by accusing it of being a coverup orchestrated by the media.[1]

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] The mainstream media is increasingly distrusted. [P2] People seek out information elsewhere, leading them to believe in conspiracy theories.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520276826/a-culture-of-conspiracy

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This page was last edited on Monday, 16 Mar 2020 at 17:28 UTC