Tag Archives: psychology

The psychology of gang stalking, and the difference between conspiracy theory and delusion

If you’ve spent enough time on the Internet (or read the New York Times yesterday), you might have come across the phenomenon of gang stalking – the alleged stalking of particular individuals by organized groups. It might seem like gang … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 60 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

Are You Serious?

I’ve posted here before about why measuring belief in conspiracy theories can be tricky. Recently I was invited to visit University of Cambridge’s Conspiracy and Democracy project and the issue of measuring belief came up again, particularly the question of … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Personality | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories

My book, Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, is out now! You can buy it now from all the usual places, in hardback and for Kindle and other e-readers. (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Barnes & Noble / Waterstones)

Posted in Suspicious Minds | Tagged , , , | 35 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

The conspiracy theory label: Not as powerful as you might think

Calling something a conspiracy theory is basically an intellectual scarlet letter. It’s a way of dismissing something you don’t like, of placing something outside the bounds of reasonable discourse. “That’s just a conspiracy theory” is a depressingly effective way of … Continue reading

Posted in Social psychology | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Bored to Fears

Do you get bored easily? Does time fly by for you, or does it always seem to drag? Is it easy for you to concentrate on activities, or do you often find your mind wandering? Is looking at a friend’s … Continue reading

Posted in Personality | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments