People Believe in Conspiracies Because They Want to Be in One

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by olias, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. olias

    olias Erik Hayden Apr 19, 2011

    Here's what new research tells us about conspiracy theorists: they fall for outlandish schemes because they'd like to participate in one themselves.

    Miller-McCune reports on a British Journal of Social Psychology study that linked the conspiratorially-minded with a propensity toward Machiavellianism, the tendency to use deceit for personal gain. The study's authors explained their findings, via the research magazine, this way:

    These studies suggest that people who have more lax personal morality may endorse conspiracy theories to a greater extent because they are, on average, more willing to participate in the conspiracies themselves.

    In one revealing example, the study found that "highly Machiavellian individuals were seemingly more likely to believe that government agents staged the 9/11 attacks because they were more likely to perceive that they would do so themselves, if [they found themselves] in the government’s position."

    Interesting. But let's take this this "it takes one to know one" conspiracy logic to the extreme. Does this mean that the conspiracy-minded believe CIA covered up the JFK assassination because they'd do the same if they were the CIA? Or that the moon-landing was faked because, if they were the head of NASA, they'd think up a similar plan?

    And how about birtherism? Are those ranters saying Obama lied about his birth certificate secretly implying they would do the exact same thing if they were President? As Miller-McCune noted, that would be news to Donald Trump.

    Belief in Conspiracies Linked to Machiavellian Mindset, Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune
    Does It Take One To Know One? , British Journal of Social Psychology
  2. People believe in conspiracies for a simple reason.

    They don't like the what is offered as truth.

    The unique quality of a good conspiracy theory, is that it can't be falsified.

    No matter how much fact is presented against the conspiracy theory, the theorists always present an even deeper layer of a conspiracy theory that necessarily dismisses the facts presented.

  3. Savant


    I think you're involved in a conspiracy to make really stupid, pointless posts on LOL!

  4. "If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence." -Bertrand Russell

    No democratic delusion is more fatuous than that which holds that all men are capable of reason, and hence susceptible to conversion by evidence. If religions depended upon evidence for their prolongation, then all of them would collapse. it is not only that the actual evidence they offer is extremely dubious; it is mainly that the great majority of the men they seek to reach are quite incapable of comprehending any evidence, good or bad. They must get at such men through their feelings or resign getting at them altogether.HL Mencken:
  5. TGregg


    Bill Whittle wrote an outstanding piece on this called Seeing the Unseen. It has two parts and it's worth a read.
  6. lol. thats a religious book based on satan. if anyone i susceptible to conspiricy theories its the religious. they are trained from birth not to think for themselves.
  7. Too bad the MSM wasn't/isn't interested in debunking truthers like they are birthers.

    What's the difference? That's a rhetorical question for the liberally challenged.