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Conspiracy beliefs and the individual, relational, and collective selves

Biddlestone, Mikey, Green, Ricky, Cichocka, Aleksandra, Sutton, Robbie M., Douglas, Karen (2021) Conspiracy beliefs and the individual, relational, and collective selves. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 15 (10). Article Number e12639. ISSN 1751-9004. (doi:10.1111/spc3.12639) (KAR id:89529)

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Recent empirical and theoretical developments suggest that endorsement of conspiracy theories can arise from the frustration of social motives. Taking this further, the current review integrates theorising on processes relating to three selves—the individual,relational, and collective self and outlines their associations with conspiracy beliefs. In doing so, we argue that motives pertaining to the individual self (e.g., narcissism, need for uniqueness) are linked to belief in conspiracy theories to deflect blame from personal shortcomings and protect the self-image. Motives responding to threats to the relational self (e.g., social exclusion) increase endorsement of conspiracy theories to regain a sense of social support through exchanging shared concerns. Finally, collective self motives (e.g., collective narcissism, perceived ingroup victimhood) foster conspiracy beliefs to defend the group image by blaming outgroups for ingroup misfortunes and placing one’s group in a morally superior victim role. Taken together, endorsement of conspiracy theories appears to be borne out of attempts to manage these three selves. Potential consequences for each of the selves,future directions, and theoretical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/spc3.12639
Uncontrolled keywords: social motives, the self, conspiracy beliefs, conspiracy theories
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2021 14:12 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Cichocka, Aleksandra:
Sutton, Robbie M.:
Douglas, Karen:
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