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Thread: Article - Conspiracy theories as maladaptive coping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Toontown, in the Bible Belt.

    Default Article - Conspiracy theories as maladaptive coping

    A review called ‘The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories‘ sets out a theory of why individuals end up believing Elvis is alive, NASA faked the moon landings or 9/11 was an inside job. Karen Douglas and colleagues suggest:

    Belief in conspiracy theories appears to be driven by motives that can be characterized as epistemic (understanding one’s environment), existential (being safe and in control of one’s environment), and social (maintaining a positive image of the self and the social group).
    In their review they cover evidence showing that factors like uncertainty about the world, lack of control or social exclusion (factors affecting epistemic, existential and social motives respectively) are all associated with increased susceptibility to conspiracy theory beliefs.

    But also they show, paradoxically, that exposure to conspiracy theories doesn’t salve these needs. People presented with pro-conspiracy theory information about vaccines or climate change felt a reduced sense of control and increased disillusion with politics and distrust of government. Douglas’ argument is that although individuals might find conspiracy theories attractive because they promise to make sense of the world, they actually increase uncertainty and decrease the chance people will take effective collective action.
    And so on, @source.

    I’m not one of the dead ones yet. - Ms Fishie.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I live in hope.

    Default Re: Article - Conspiracy theories as maladaptive coping

    A great paper.

    Within the general category 'conspiracy theories' must be included the plethora of books on God's plan for Israel ushering in the Last Days. The 'Signs of the Times.'

    You don't have to be poor to be attracted to this trip. People can have a bookshelf full of these Premillennial eschatological prognostications from that crypto-exegesis of the bible purely from a motive to appear deeply informed, smart, and also separate, set apart from the ignorant masses and the 'lukewarm' who would identify themselves as Christian, but are not truly born again. It is pretty much an ego trip.

    I know one, tried to evangelise my daughter at my mum's funeral after the Christians from mum's church turned it into an evangelising farce, co-opted and misappropriated what I said about inherited traits, concerning mum's genuine altruism.

    They asserted her charity and empathy was all purely due to Jesus.

    I'm sure the attendees saw it for what it was. Fucking ego trip. Self importance. They just have to have the last say. Buddhism would call it 'grasping.'

    That was getting a bit off topic.
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Default Re: Article - Conspiracy theories as maladaptive coping

    Similar experience at my dad's funeral - captive audience for evangelism.

    My thoughts on conspiracy theories - it's a kind of mental abuse, anti-intellectualism. BS baffles brains. It is painful to have to listen to the theories!
    One journal article suggested that conspiracy theories are a kind of response to stress
    Viren Swami, Adrian Furnham, Nina Smyth, Laura Weis, Alixe Lay, Angela Clow,
    Putting the stress on conspiracy theories: Examining associations between psychological stress, anxiety, and belief in conspiracy theories,
    Personality and Individual Differences,
    Volume 99,
    Pages 72-76,
    ISSN 0191-8869,
    Keywords: Conspiracy theories; Stress; Anxiety; Perceived stress

    while another article identified that people prone to boredom and paranoia were more likely to be attracted to conspiracy theories

    Robert Brotherton, Silan Eser
    Bored to fears: Boredom proneness, paranoia, and conspiracy theories
    Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 80, 2015, pp. 1-5

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