Karen Manges Douglas

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The authors examined the perceived and actual impact of exposure to conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. One group of undergraduate students rated their agreement and their classmates' perceived agreement with several statements about Diana's death. A second group of students from the same undergraduate population(More)
The third-person effect (TPE) is the tendency for people to perceive the media as more influential on others than on themselves. This study introduced a new methodological paradigm for measuring the TPE and examined whether the effect stems from an overestimation of the persuasibility of others, an underestimation of the persuasibility of the self, both, or(More)
The current studies explored the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories. In Study 1, participants were exposed to a range of conspiracy theories concerning government involvement in significant events such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting conspiracy theories reduced(More)
The current studies investigated the potential impact of anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs, and exposure to anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, on vaccination intentions. In Study 1, British parents completed a questionnaire measuring beliefs in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and the likelihood that they would have a fictitious child vaccinated. Results(More)
Language abstraction is an important aspect of the description of behavioral events (G.R. Semin & K. Fiedler, 1988) that is typically viewed as a medium by which describers transmit beliefs without conscious awareness or control. Complementary to this view, the authors propose that language abstraction may also be influenced by explicit communication goals(More)
Recent research into the psychology of conspiracy belief has highlighted the importance of belief systems in the acceptance or rejection of conspiracy theories. We examined a large sample of conspiracist (pro-conspiracy-theory) and conventionalist (anti-conspiracy-theory) comments on news websites in order to investigate the relative importance of promoting(More)
Recent research has documented the intergroup sensitivity effect (ISE) whereby people respond more favorably to internal versus external criticism of their group. The present studies examine the reactions of bystanders who do not belong to the criticized group and whose reactions are therefore more likely to be informed by social conventions than by(More)
The present studies examine why people think the world is more just to themselves than to others generally. Beliefs in justice for the self were uniquely associated with psychological adjustment, consistent with the theoretical motive to believe in justice for the self (Studies 1 and 2). However, this "justice motive" did not appear to affect the relative(More)
People generally assume that others are more influenced than the self (the third person perception or TPP). To further understand this perception we investigated people's intuitive understanding of how persuasion works. Participants rated themselves or others on traits reflecting risk and immunity from persuasion (e.g., weak-and strong-mindedness) and need(More)
In spite of the social stigma surrounding them, conspiracy theories are a common topic of public debate on the Internet. The content and tone of these discussions provide a useful insight into the structure of conspiracist belief systems and the psychological characteristics of those who believe and disbelieve in conspiracy theories. In this focused review,(More)