Category Archives: Social psychology

5G COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and support for violence

Telecommunications companies, police officials, and media outlets worldwide have suggested that 5G coronavirus conspiracies have sparked a flurry of attacks on telecoms workers and infrastructure since the start of the pandemic. Arson attacks and cases of criminal damage to masts, … Continue reading

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Coronavirus is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories – here’s why that’s a serious problem

by Daniel Jolley and Pia Lamberty, written for the Conversation. The novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, with new cases being reported all the time. Spreading just as fast, it seems, are conspiracy theories that claim powerful actors … Continue reading

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50 years today – 20th July 1969 – we landed on the Moon. Or, did we?

Popular conspiracy theories propose the moon landing was a hoax and the footage recorded in a Hollywood studio. An explanation for why could be that at the time, the Americans had not yet developed a safe way to get a … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, What's the harm, World events | 2 Comments

Conspiracy theories fuel prejudice towards minority groups

By Daniel Jolley and Karen Douglas Some 60% of British people believe in at least one conspiracy theory, a recent poll reveals. From the idea that 9/11 was an inside job to the notion that climate change is a hoax, … Continue reading

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New research shows a link between belief in conspiracy theories and everyday criminal activity

In a new paper published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, we have found that people who believe in conspiracy theories – such as the theory that Princess Diana was murdered by the British establishment – are more likely … Continue reading

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Cartoon on the psychology of conspiracy theories

In June 2018, I was voted one of the winners of ‘I’m a Scientist’ – which is an online platform to engage school children in science where across a two-week period, I spoke to children of all ages about why … Continue reading

Posted in Round-Ups, Social psychology

Every mass shooting produces the same conspiracy theories (more or less)

The same conspiracy theories pop up every single time there’s a mass shooting in the United States, with minimal variation. There are a couple of ways to look at this. On the one hand, maybe the conspiracy theories are right, … Continue reading

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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 | 6 Comments

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

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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 | 5 Comments