Category Archives: Social psychology

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

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

Posted in Social psychology, What's the harm | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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 , , | 18 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

Should conspiracy theory research inform public policy?

Princess Diana was murdered by the Royal Family.  The U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Pharmaceutical companies cover up evidence of harmful side effects of vaccines.  Each statement is a ‘conspiracy theory’; defined as a proposed plot by powerful … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology | Tagged | 225 Comments

PsyPAG Quarterly special issue: The psychology of conspiracy theories

The PsyPAG Quarterly is a publication which is distributed free of charge to all psychology postgraduates in the UK. As an editor of this publication, for the September ’13 edition, I put together a special issue on the psychology of … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology | 28 Comments

5 reasons why “predictive programming” is psychologically implausible

If you think that popular culture – movies, TV, and music – have been kind of samey lately, you’re not alone. Peter Suderman at Slate has proposed that most summer blockbusters follow the same basic formula laid out in a … Continue reading

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Childhood vaccinations: What is the role of conspiracy theorising?

On Wednesday 26th June 2013, I attended a thought-provoking symposium where international experts in psychology, anthropology and communication sciences came together to describe current trends in public attitudes towards childhood vaccination. The symposium accurately titled ‘Public engagement and risk communication … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Social psychology | 5 Comments

21% of US voters believe Obama is the Anti-Christ : The problem with conspiracy polling

A recent poll by ‘Public Polling Policy’, (despite the name, a private US polling company) conducted an automated telephone poll of 1247 registered US voters and asked respondents a variety of questions about their belief in various popular conspiracy theories. The … Continue reading

Posted in 9/11, Round-Ups, Social psychology, What's the harm, World events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments