Category Archives: Social psychology

Adam Ruins Everything: Episode on conspiracy theories

This week, US TV Show Adams Ruins Everything has an episode on conspiracy theories.  If you are in the US, you can tune in on 10th October 10/9c on Tru TV.  If you are not based in the US, you … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology | 1 Comment

Prevention is better than cure: Addressing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories

In a new paper that we have recently published, we found that people can be inoculated against the potentially harmful effects of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, but that once they are established, the conspiracy theories may be difficult to correct. The … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, What's the harm | 3 Comments

Fake news, conspiracy theories and the UK general election

Popular conspiracy theories propose that members of UK government murdered Diana, Princess of Wales; climate change is a hoax orchestrated by the world’s scientists to secure research funding and pharmaceutical companies and governments cover up evidence of harmful side effects … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, What's the harm | 4 Comments

Conspiracy theories can sometimes bolster rather than undermine support for the status quo

In a recent paper published in Political Psychology by myself from Staffordshire University and Karen Douglas and Robbie Sutton from the University of Kent, we found that conspiracy theories might be a way that people can maintain favourable attitudes towards society … Continue reading

Posted in Round-Ups, Social psychology | 8 Comments

Conspiracy theories in the workplace

Conspiracy theories have been shown to have potentially detrimental consequences on political, environmental, and health-related behaviour intentions. We have discussed these consequences on the blog previously. Recently, psychologists have extended this and explored how conspiracy theories may also impact our day-to-day working … Continue reading

Posted in Round-Ups, Social psychology, What's the harm | 5 Comments

What suspicion tells us about beliefs in conspiracy theories

Have a look at the statements below, and think about how much you agree with each of them on a 1-5 scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). The real truth about 9/11 is being kept from the public. … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Exposure to conspiracy theories: Enduring over a two-week period

We know that conspiracy theories may have some important negative societal consequences.  Conspiracy theories can discourage people from engaging with the political system, taking action against climate change and having a fictional child vaccinated. In each of these empirical investigations, … Continue reading

Posted in Round-Ups, Social psychology, What's the harm | 5 Comments

Conspiracy theories and the campaign to Leave the EU

With colleagues at the University of Kent (Prof Karen Douglas and Dr Aleksandra Cichocka), we have written a piece in The Psychologist discussing conspiracy theories and the campaign to Leave the EU.  In short, we have found that belief in … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, What's the harm, World events | 7 Comments

The great Columbia conspiracy: Why Trump and others seem to contradict themselves on Obama’s past

So, I suppose we should talk about Donald Trump at some point. Trump might just be the most famous conspiracy-monger in the world at the moment. He’s flirted with, if not outright endorsed, a wide variety of conspiracy theories, ranging … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, World events | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Stress and belief in conspiracy theories

A recent a piece of research published by Viren Swami and colleagues has uncovered a link between feeling stressed and belief in conspiracy theories. Swami and colleagues gathered responses from over 400 people, where the responders completed various measures, such … Continue reading

Posted in Personality, Social psychology, What's the harm, World events | Tagged , , | 5 Comments