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Why are conspiracy theories appealing to so many people? Are some people more likely to believe conspiracy theories than others? Do conspiracy theories make people feel better? What are the psychological and social consequences of conspiracy theories? Is it possible to reduce belief in conspiracy theories?
Millions of people disbelieve official explanations for significant political and social events in favour of alternative accounts that are often called ‘conspiracy theories’. For example, well known conspiracy theories contend that the 9/11 attacks were an ‘inside job’, that climate change is a hoax, and that Princess Diana was murdered by the British government.
Conspiracy theories like these are very popular – about half of the population believes at least one – and in recent years psychologists have begun to investigate what makes these conspiracy theories appealing to so many people.
Karen Douglas, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent, will talk about what research has discovered so far, and will outline her own programme of research on the psychology of conspiracy theories.
Does the fact that you believe that the moon landing was staged and that the Earth is flat make you feel unique and stand out in our social group? Food for thought and an event to attend.