Category Archives: What’s the harm

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 | 8 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 , , | 7 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

Buffering conspiracy theories with feelings of control

The psychology of conspiracy theories is an ever-growing field. I have Google Scholar Alerts set up to let me know of new research and the alerts have been particularly active recently. It is great to see the field flourishing with activity. … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, What's the harm | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The 2015 general election and conspiracy theories

Millions of people in the United Kingdom will head to the polling stations on Thursday (7th May) to vote in the 2015 general election. There will however be a large portion of people, whilst eligible, will not cast their vote. … Continue reading

Posted in What's the harm | 14 Comments

Ebola virus conspiracy theories

“How do you think the Ebola virus come about?” Created in a lab (on purpose) – 47% Created in a lab (by accident) – 10% Spread from bats/monkeys – 38% Cannibalistic ritual cover-up – 5% This is a poll question … Continue reading

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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

Robert F Kennedy Jr and vaccines : How even the brightest can fall victim to conspiracy thinking

Robert F Kennedy Jr, famously one of  Robert “Bobby” Kennedy, Sr ‘s 11 children, has made press many times over the last ten years with his staunch anti-vaccination views. In 2005, he wrote an article for Salon.com proclaiming that a government conspiracy … Continue reading

Posted in Biases & heuristics, Confirmation bias, What's the harm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

“The Great Green Con”: Pro-conspiracy information within the media

This morning I came across a news article that read so similar to my pro-conspiracy manipulation used within a recent paper, it was quite unnerving. I have spoken about this paper before on this blog, where it was shown that exposure … Continue reading

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