Reptilians, Freemasons and others: scientists explain why people believe in conspiracies and deny common sense

Dmytro IvancheskulLife
People are prone to paranoia and those who feel like outsiders are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories

People who tend to believe in conspiracy theories about reptilians or Freemasons ruling the world do not actually have any mental disorders. The belief in such usually absurd ideas is due to certain personality traits and social motives.

This is stated in a study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. According to the researchers, people prone to paranoia, those who would rather listen to their own intuition than scientific arguments, and those who put themselves above others are the main fans of conspiracy theories.

"Conspiracy theorists are not always simple-minded, mentally unhealthy - this is the portrait that is usually drawn in popular culture," explained Shauna Bowes, the study's lead author and a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Emory University (USA).

Instead, she said, many people turn to conspiracy theories to satisfy "hidden inner needs and make sense of suffering or deteriorating health."

Bowes added that previous research on why people tend to believe in conspiracy theories has mostly looked at the individual's personality and motivation separately, so she and her colleagues decided to combine these factors in the new study.

To do so, the authors of the new paper analysed data from 170 studies involving more than 158,000 people, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Poland. According to SciTechDaily, they focused on studies that measure the motivation or personality traits of participants associated with conspiracy thinking.

After analysing the data, the researchers concluded that people believe in conspiracy theories because they need to understand and feel safe in their environment. It is also important for such people to feel that the community they identify with is superior to others.

At the same time, conspiracy theorists have no desire to control reality, although conspiracy theories often aim to reveal the secret truth about the world and allegedly introduce a person to the circle of the elect who know what is inaccessible to the majority.

Instead, it was found that social relations act as a certain motivator to delve into conspiracy theories. The point is that people who experienced social threats were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories about specific events, such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, rather than the abstract theory that the government has sinister plans for its citizens.

The researchers also found that people with certain personality traits, such as those who feel like outsiders in society and have high levels of paranoia, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories.

Those who strongly believed in conspiracy theories were also more likely to be insecure, emotionally unstable, impulsive, suspicious, withdrawn, manipulative, self-centred and eccentric.

Bowes noted that future research should be conducted with the awareness that conspiracy thinking is complex and that there are important and diverse variables to be explored in the relationship between conspiracy thinking, motivation, and personality to understand the overall psychology behind conspiracy ideas.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL talked about the conspiracy theory that the Titanic disaster did not happen, and that there is a completely different ship at the bottom of the sea.

Subscribe to OBOZREVATEL's Telegram and Viber channels to keep up with the latest news.

Other News

How to clean the floor to avoid streaks: simple tips

How to clean the floor to avoid streaks: simple tips

Effective solution removes dirt and disinfects surfaces
How to clean stains on painted walls: one product will help

How to clean stains on painted walls: one product will help

No need to buy expensive chemicals for this