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No simple answer for why people believe in conspiracy theories

By American Psychological AssociationJune 26, 2023,

People endorse conspiracy theories due to complex combination of personality traits, motivations.

People can be prone to believe in conspiracy theories due to a combination of personality traits and motivations, including relying strongly on their intuition, feeling a sense of antagonism and superiority toward others, and perceiving threats in their environment, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

The results of the study paint a nuanced picture of what drives conspiracy theorists, according to lead author Shauna Bowes, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Emory University.

“Conspiracy theorists are not all likely to be simple-minded, mentally unwell folks – a portrait which is routinely painted in popular culture,” said Bowes. “Instead, many turn to conspiracy theories to fulfill deprived motivational needs and make sense of distress and impairment.” [...]

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