Conspiracy Theories

I remember being told a big man in a red suit would fly an eight-reindeer-strong sleigh to deliver presents to every child. And that a magical, ambiguously sized rabbit creature would lay chocolate eggs in the garden sometime in April for Easter. And if I placed my fallen baby teeth under my pillow, I could pawn them for a quick buck to a “tooth fairy”. These are all straight up lies told to many of us, often by the first authoritative figures in our lives we trusted. Our parents. If the closest people to us would let us believe a lie, is it hard to imagine a world where others might as well? But let me ask you this: Can you really blame someone’s scepticism of the information they get on the world around them? If you have someone in your life who buys into conspiracy theories, it might help to consider where they’re coming from. So why are some of us attracted to conspiracy theories?

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While the world has been battling a pandemic and social issues, we have also been battling the spread of misinformation. Conspiracy theory culture really began at the time of the JFK assassination. Americans desperately wanted an explanation, even if that explanation was a bit out there or just a way of projecting politics. Then, in the s, came along the Internet and the golden age of theory. Now, conspiracy theories are having a moment, but sadly, not the fun and kooky ones.

“The nurses being sent to kill us in our hundreds every day! Why don’t you tell the truth about that?” It’s a strange fact that conspiracy theories –.

This is a list of conspiracy theories that are notable. Many conspiracy theories relate to clandestine government plans and elaborate murder plots. Conspiracy theories usually deny consensus or cannot be proven using the historical or scientific method and are not to be confused with research concerning verified conspiracies such as Germany’s pretense for invading Poland in World War II.

In principle, conspiracy theories are not false by default and their validity depends on evidence just as in any theory. However, they are often discredited a priori due to the cumbersome and improbable nature of many of them. Psychologists attribute finding a conspiracy where there is none to a mental illness called illusory pattern perception. Numerous conspiracy theories pertain to air travel and aircraft. Incidents such as the bombing of the Kashmir Princess , the Arrow Air Flight crash, the Mozambican Tupolev Tu crash , the Helderberg Disaster , the bombing of Pan Am Flight and the Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash as well as various aircraft technologies and alleged sightings, have all spawned theories of foul play which deviate from official verdicts.

This conspiracy theory emerged in the U. The John Birch Society originally promoted [6] it, asserting that a United Nations force would soon arrive in black helicopters to bring the U. The theory re-emerged in the s during the presidency of Bill Clinton , and has been promoted by talk show host Glenn Beck. Also known as SLAP Secret Large-scale Atmospheric Program , this theory alleges that water condensation trails ” contrails ” from aircraft consist of chemical or biological agents , or contain a supposedly toxic mix of aluminum , strontium and barium , [10] under secret government policies.

In , the Carnegie Institution for Science published the first-ever peer-reviewed study of the chemtrail theory; 76 out of 77 participating atmospheric chemists and geochemists stated that they had seen no evidence to support the chemtrail theory, or stated that chemtrail theorists rely on poor sampling.

The Strangest Conspiracy Theories The Interwebs Has To Offer

So I signed up. I went online and asked a network of users what drew them in and why they’d turned to trailer websites in the first place. Also, I was social, how did they feel about handing over so much personal information to a website? Philippines Alex, can you tell me about when you first woke up? It was gradual. In , I witnessed on review an network by terrorists.

Believing in online hoaxes can be dangerous now. Here’s how we can all help.

When he told me he listened to a radio show that is known for unscientific views, I ignored it because I found him so charming and kind. During our three-year courtship I always avoided the topics of science and politics. It makes me so sad. I knew on some level that he believed these things, but I chose to overlook it. Other than his irrational beliefs, we are compatible and happy.

My question is, can a relationship survive and thrive in the midst of these fundamental differences? Yes, your marriage can survive — IF you practice the same selective amnesia you chose to adopt when your husband was courting you, and focus solely on the areas in which you are in sync. What can I say to her? Your father will have to become proactive about what your mother has been doing. Do I need to wait until afterward, or is good news always welcome?

While good news is always welcome, this news should wait until after the wedding. If you make the announcement now, your sister-in-law might regard it as stealing the limelight from the bride. By Jeanne Phillips.

The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

Please refresh the page and retry. The man who chose a beautiful Sunday morning to unleash a string of swear words at a stranger was middle-aged, well-dressed and — it quickly transpired — a conspiracy theorist. Neither one of us stuck around to find out which nefarious forces were instructing the NHS to kill us off, or, for that matter, why.

But when I recounted the incident to friends and family, a surprising number came back with recent conspiracist run-ins of their own. T hen there are the mobile phone masts currently being set alight across the country, after nefarious links between coronavirus and the 5G network were whipped up on social media.

Analysts are tracking false rumours about COVID in hopes of curbing their spread.

Protesters rallying in Arizona against lockdowns held up signs carrying anti-vaccine messages and promoting unproven treatments. In the first few months of , wild conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and the new coronavirus began sprouting online. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist who has funded efforts to control the virus with treatments, vaccines and technology, had himself created the virus, argued one theory. He had patented it, said another.

The false claims quietly proliferated among groups predisposed to spread the message — people opposed to vaccines, globalization or the privacy infringements enabled by technology. Then one went mainstream. On 19 March, the website Biohackinfo. Two days later, traffic started flowing to a YouTube video on the idea.

There’s an actual dating website just for conspiracy theorists

They’re called conspiracy theorists. They walk among us. They could be your friends, neighbors or loved ones. Who knows? You may even be one yourself.

Born on the dark fringes of the internet, QAnon is now infiltrating mainstream American life and politics. By Paul P. Murphy, CNN. Updated

Apple, YouTube and Facebook have pulled the plug on Infowars’ Alex Jones for peddling loathsome lies such as the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre was an elaborate hoax. Twitter has failed to follow suit , stirring up heated debate about the proper role of media and tech platforms to rein in hateful speech and disinformation. But while that’s certainly a debate worth having, it’s also worth asking: Does banning those who peddle lies actually reduce the number of people who believe them?

To start answering that question it’s important to understand exactly what sort of person believes the moon landing was faked. Belief in conspiracy theories is more common than you might think. One study found roughly half of Americans believe at least one and hey, a few past “conspiracy theories” actually proved true. That means conspiracy theories will probably always be this us to some extent, but there are also demographic and psychological factors that make it more likely people will believe in them, including:.

Twitter says it’s cracking down on QAnon conspiracy theory

Misinformation online can be dangerous but Aimee believes for her boyfriend Sean it was deadly. Here she discusses how they got caught up in a world of alternative cancer therapies. Aimee, 23, first met Sean at the Merseyside Youth Association – she loved singing so had just joined the soul choir there. Aimee describes Sean as the funniest person she’s ever met, “he was the life and soul really, he loved being on stage and playing his guitar.

This is a list of conspiracy theories that are notable. Many conspiracy theories relate to clandestine government plans and elaborate murder plots. Conspiracy.

What psychological factors drive the popularity of conspiracy theories , which explain important events as secret plots by powerful and malevolent groups? What are the psychological consequences of adopting these theories? We review the current research and find that it answers the first of these questions more thoroughly than the second.

Instead, for many people, conspiracy belief may be more appealing than satisfying. Further research is needed to determine for whom, and under what conditions, conspiracy theories may satisfy key psychological motives. Over a third of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax Swift, , and over half believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in the assassination of John F.

Kennedy Jensen, These are examples of conspiracy theories —explanations for important events that involve secret plots by powerful and malevolent groups e.

How to talk to conspiracy theorists—and still be kind

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays. This drug is a miracle cure! Blame this billionaire for the virus!

Hoping to find love before the imminent collapse of humanity, year-old New Yorker Jenny signed up for Awake Dating—a conspiracy theory dating site—after​.

Conspiracy theories have been cooked up throughout history, but they are increasingly visible lately, likely due in part to the president of the United States routinely embracing or creating them. Given that any particular conspiracy theory is unlikely to be the subject of mainstream consensus, what draws people to them? New research by Josh Hart, associate professor of psychology, suggests that people with certain personality traits and cognitive styles are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.

The research was recently published in the Journal of Individual Differences. People who are reluctant to believe in conspiracy theories tend to have the opposite qualities. Hart and his student, Molly Graether ’17, surveyed more than 1, American adults. Participants were asked a series of questions related to their personality traits, partisan bent and demographic background. They were also asked whether they agreed with generic conspiratorial statements, such as: “The power held by heads of state is second to that of small unknown groups who really control world politics,” and “Groups of scientists manipulate, fabricate or suppress evidence in order to deceive the public.

Previous research has shown that people gravitate toward conspiracy theories that affirm or validate their political view: Republicans are vastly more likely than Democrats to believe the Obama “birther” theory or that climate change is a hoax. Democrats are more likely to believe that Trump’s campaign “colluded” with the Russians, Hart said. Some people are also habitual conspiracists who entertain a variety of generic theories. For example, they believe that world politics are controlled by a cabal instead of governments or that scientists systematically deceive the public.

This indicates that personality or other individual differences might be at play. Hart and Graether wanted to build on this research by testing how much each of several previously identified traits could explain generic conspiracy beliefs.

The Stupidest Conspiracy Theories Ever