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Understanding conspiracy theories

Douglas, Karen, Uscinski, Joseph, Sutton, Robbie M., Cichocka, Aleksandra, Nefes, Turkay, Ang, Chee Siang, Deravi, Farzin (2019) Understanding conspiracy theories. Advances in Political Psychology, 40 (S1). pp. 3-35. ISSN 1479-0661. (doi:10.1111/pops.12568) (KAR id:71278)

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https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12568

Abstract

Scholarly efforts to understand conspiracy theories have grown significantly in recent years, and there is now a broad and interdisciplinary literature that we review in this article. We ask three specific questions. First, what are the factors that are associated with conspiracy theorizing? Our review of the literature shows that conspiracy beliefs result from a range of psychological, political and social factors. Next, how are conspiracy theories communicated? Here, we explain how conspiracy theories are shared among individuals and spread through traditional and social media platforms. Next, what are the risks and rewards associated with conspiracy theories? By focusing on politics and science, we argue that conspiracy theories do more harm than good. Finally, because this is a growing literature and many open questions remain, we conclude by suggesting several promising avenues for future research.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/pops.12568
Uncontrolled keywords: communication, conspiracy belief, conspiracy theories, politics, psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 09:36 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:18 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/71278 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Douglas, Karen: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0381-6924
Sutton, Robbie M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1542-1716
Cichocka, Aleksandra: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1703-1586
Ang, Chee Siang: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1109-9689
Deravi, Farzin: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0885-437X
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