Tag Archives: heuristics and biases

On “crazy” conspiracy theories

I wrote an op ed, published today on LATimes.com, on the topic of dismissing conspiracy theories (and theorists) as “crazy.” Pithy insults like crazy, delusional, irrational, wacky have become a common refrain, at least among click-baiting headline-writers and over-zealous pundits. But, as I … Continue reading

Posted in Biases & heuristics, Pop culture, Proportionality bias, Suspicious Minds | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Vice Motherboard article on conspiracy psychology

A recent article by journalist Molly Osberg gives an excellent overview of the psychology of conspiracy theories, including a few quotes from me, among other researchers. “There’s not that much of a difference, really, between conspiracy theorists and the rest … Continue reading

Posted in Biases & heuristics, Suspicious Minds | Tagged , , , , | 4 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

Mass shooting conspiracy theories: Newtown, competence, and politics

As the conspiracy theories around the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut continue to grow, Rob’s insightful post from a couple of days ago has generated a lot of interest. We can talk about evidence or lack of evidence as much … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology, World events | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

How to sell a conspiracy theory

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (A&E9/11 for short), more than any other conspiracist organisation I’ve come across, showcases the psychology of sales techniques, influence, and persuasion. I don’t doubt the sincerity of those who believe the claims made by … Continue reading

Posted in 9/11, Biases & heuristics, Social psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments