Category Archives: World events

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 | 7 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

Posted in Social psychology, World events | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Intention Seekers: The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories About MS804

I wrote a post over at Psychology Today on the psychology behind conspiracy theories about airline disasters like the disappearance of MH370, and more recently, MS804. Part of the appeal, according to a handful of recent studies, may be how … Continue reading

Posted in Biases & heuristics, Intentionality bias, 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

What do you think happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370?

[Edit: The survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who took part. You can read an article I wrote for New Scientist about this research by clicking here.] We are conducting a survey of people’s opinions about what happened to … Continue reading

Posted in World events | Tagged , , , | 54 Comments

The President is Dead: Why Conspiracy Theories About the Death of JFK Endure

November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Over the years, numerous investigations have amassed evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin, and failed to find compelling proof that anyone else was involved. … Continue reading

Posted in Biases & heuristics, Proportionality bias, World events | Tagged , , , , | 72 Comments

Conspiracy distractions

[I wrote this article two years ago, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It was originally published in The Skeptic magazine.] On the morning of September 11th, 2011, New York City solemnly remembered the thousands of people who … Continue reading

Posted in 9/11, World events | Tagged , , , , | 228 Comments

Bilderberg Fringe Festival 2013 special report

This year, for the first time, the secretive Bilderberg meeting was accompanied by an unofficial Bilderberg Fringe Festival. This consisted of three days of presentations on the alleged evils of Bilderberg, as well as general festivities, all in a field … Continue reading

Posted in Events, World events | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A trip to the Bilderberg Fringe Festival

Last weekend Rob and I went to the Bilderberg Fringe Festival, a sort of combined protest / music festival organised around the annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group. The Bilderbergers have been the subjects of many conspiracy theories, often involving … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Uncategorized, World events | Tagged , , , , , | 2 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