Is Belief in Conspiracy Theories Pathological? A Survey Experiment on the Cognitive Roots of Extreme Suspicion

@article{Radnitz2015IsBI,
  title={Is Belief in Conspiracy Theories Pathological? A Survey Experiment on the Cognitive Roots of Extreme Suspicion},
  author={Scott Radnitz and P. Underwood},
  journal={British Journal of Political Science},
  year={2015},
  volume={47},
  pages={113 - 129}
}
What are the origins of belief in conspiracy theories? The dominant approach to studying conspiracy theories links belief to social stresses or personality type, and does not take into account the situational and fluctuating nature of attitudes. In this study, a survey experiment, subjects are presented with a mock news article designed to induce conspiracy belief. Subjects are randomly assigned three manipulations hypothesized to heighten conspiracy perceptions: a prime to induce anxiety… Expand
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