Category Archives: What’s the harm

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

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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