Category Archives: Social psychology

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 | 5 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 | 4 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

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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 | 3 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

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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

How to stop Donald Trump peddling vaccine conspiracy theories

To nobody’s surprise, Donald Trump, the billionaire front-runner for the US Republican party’s nomination for presidential candidate, has continued to spread his views on the dangers of vaccination. Trump is no stranger to controversy, least of all when it comes to … Continue reading

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The conspiracy theory label: Not as powerful as you might think

Calling something a conspiracy theory is basically an intellectual scarlet letter. It’s a way of dismissing something you don’t like, of placing something outside the bounds of reasonable discourse. “That’s just a conspiracy theory” is a depressingly effective way of … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and their potential impact on children’s health

The Los Angeles Times recently published a piece titled: “Measles is spreading, and the anti-vaccine movement is the cause”, and as you can imagine, this caught my attention. Recently, I have had an empirical paper published in the open-access journal … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, What's the harm | 40 Comments