Personality traits, cognitive styles and worldviews associated with beliefs in conspiracy theories

Authored by: Anthony Lantian , Mike Wood , Biljana Gjoneska

Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815361749
eBook ISBN: 9780429452734
Adobe ISBN:


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Why do some people tend to believe conspiracy theories (i.e. describe events as clandestine plots by secret agents), while others do not? Psychologists have been asking this question since at least the 1960s, when Hamsher et al. (1968) examined why some people accepted conspiracy theories about the assassination of President Kennedy. Six years later, in the midst of another American political scandal, Wright and Arbuthnot (1974) investigated the same question, phrased differently: why do some people dismiss allegations of conspiracy – in this case, the idea that President Nixon might have been involved in the Watergate affair?

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