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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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There are Existential motives for believing in conspiracy theories

People turn to Conspiracy Theories when they're anxious and feel powerless. Research suggests conspiracy belief is strongly related to lack of sociopolitical control or lack of psychological empowerment.
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The Argument

Causal explanations ("this happened because of that") serve the need for people to feel safe and secure in their environment and to exert control over the environment as autonomous individuals and as members of collectives. People who lack instrumental control may be afforded some compensatory sense of control by conspiracy theories, because they offer them the opportunity to reject official narratives and feel that they possess an alternative account. [1] Other scholars point to the idea that conspiracy‐theory endorsement may be a compensatory reaction to perceptions that society's essential character is changing. [2] Unfortunately, the research also shows conspiracy theory thinking only reinforces that sense of political alienation and disempowerment. [3]

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00225/full
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejsp.2495
  3. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-76840-001

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This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 10:51 UTC

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