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< Back to question 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 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 Social motives for believing in conspiracy theories

Conspiracy Theories can serve as a social / psychological bond for groups that feel threatened or disadvantaged.
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The Argument

Members of groups who have objectively low (vs. high) status because of their ethnicity or income are more likely to endorse conspiracy theories. The prevalence of anti-semitic conspiracy theories in certain BAME communities is evidence of this (eg. Nick Cannon's attack on the Jewish community, for which he subsequently apologised [1]) People on the losing (vs. winning) side of political processes also appear more likely to believe conspiracy theories. This type of justification of Conspiracy Theory is about shielding the in-group from blame, claiming it is the moral and competent one, but has been sabotaged by others. This type of conspiracy ideation is also particularly appealing to groups who find the positive image of their self or in-group threatened.

Counter arguments

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-07-17/nick-cannon-apology-anti-semitic-comments-harm

This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 11:01 UTC

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