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Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: Validation of a French and English single-item scale

Lantian, Anthony, Muller, Dominique, Nurra, Cecile, Douglas, Karen M. (2016) Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: Validation of a French and English single-item scale. International Review of Social Psychology, 29 (1). pp. 1-14. E-ISSN 2119-4130. (doi:10.5334/irsp.8) (KAR id:54437)

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We designed, in French and in English, a single-item scale to measure people’s general tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. The validity and reliability of this scale was assessed in 3 studies (total N = 555). In Study 1 (N = 152), positive correlations between the single-item scale and 3 other conspiracy belief scales on a French student sample suggested good concurrent validity. In Study 2 (N = 292), we replicated these results on a larger and more heterogeneous Internet American sample. Moreover, the scale showed good predictive validity—responses predicted participants’ willingness to receive a bi-monthly newsletter about alleged conspiracy theories. Finally, in Study 3 (N = 111), we observed good test-retest reliability and demonstrated both convergent and discriminant validity of the single-item scale. Overall these results suggest that the single-item conspiracy belief scale has good validity and reliability and may be used to measure conspiracy belief in favor of lengthier existing scales. In addition, the validation of the single-item scale led us to develop and start validating French versions of the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs scale, the Conspiracy Mentality Questionnaire, and a 10-item version (instead of the 15-item original version) of the Belief in Conspiracy Theories Inventory.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5334/irsp.8
Uncontrolled keywords: Conspiracy theories, conspiracy belief, scale
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2016 15:19 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Douglas, Karen M.:
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