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Investigating the links between cultural values and belief in conspiracy theories: The key roles of collectivism and masculinity

Adam-Troian, J., Wagner-Egger, P., Motyl, M., Arciszewski, T., Imhoff, R., Zimmer, F., Klein, O., Babinska, M., Bangerter, A., Bilewicz, M., and others. (2020) Investigating the links between cultural values and belief in conspiracy theories: The key roles of collectivism and masculinity. Political Psychology, . ISSN 0162-895X. E-ISSN 1467-9221. (doi:10.1111/pops.12716) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:83395)

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Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research, we tested, based on a situated cultural cognition perspective, the extent to which culture predicts CT beliefs. Using Hofstede’s model of cultural values, three nation-level analyses of data from 25, 19 and 18 countries using different measures of CT beliefs (Study 1, N = 5,323; Study 2a, N = 12,255; Study 2b, N = 30,994) revealed positive associations between Masculinity, Collectivism and CT beliefs. A cross-sectional study among US citizens (Study 3, N = 350), using individual-level measures of Hofstede’s values, replicated these findings. A meta-analysis of correlations across studies corroborated the presence of positive links between CT beliefs, Collectivism, r = .31, 95%CI = [.15; .47] and Masculinity, , r = .39, 95%CI = [.18; .59]. Our results suggest that in addition to individual-differences and contextual variables, cultural factors also play an important role in shaping CT beliefs.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/pops.12716
Uncontrolled keywords: conspiracist beliefs, cultural values, situated cognition, collectivism, masculinity, cross-cultural
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:50 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 16:15 UTC
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