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Conspiracy theories and the conspiracy mindset: Implications for political ideology

Sutton, Robbie M., Douglas, Karen M. (2020) Conspiracy theories and the conspiracy mindset: Implications for political ideology. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 34 . pp. 118-122. ISSN 2352-1546. (doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.02.015) (KAR id:80283)

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We consider the significance of belief in conspiracy theories for political ideologies. Although there is no marked ideological asymmetry in conspiracy belief, research indicates that conspiracy theories may play a powerful role in ideological processes. In particular, they are associated with ideological extremism, distrust of rival ideological camps, populist distrust of mainstream politics, and ideological grievances. The “conspiracy mindset” characterizes the ideological significance of conspiracy belief, and is associated with measuring conspiracy belief by means of abstract propositions associated with aversion and distrust of powerful groups. We suggest that this approach does not pay sufficient attention to the nonrational character of specific conspiracy beliefs and thus runs the risk of mischaracterizing them, and mischaracterizing their ideological implications.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.02.015
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2020 15:42 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2021 23:00 UTC
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