Category Archives: What’s the harm

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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If others are conspiring, then why should I be well-behaved?

by Daniel Jolley, Karen Douglas, Ana Leite, and Tanya Schrader We live in a complex world. To navigate this complexity, we often look to other people to decide what we should believe and how we should behave. But what happens … 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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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

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