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Old 06-12-2018, 04:18 PM   Topic Starter
DaFace DaFace is offline
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People who overestimate their political knowledge tend to believe conspiracy theories

Posting just because I'll be amused to watch the discussion. Not that there's anyone here this would apply to.

http://www.psypost.org/2018/06/peopl...theories-51447

People who overestimate their political knowledge are more likely to believe conspiracy theories
By ERIC W. DOLAN June 11, 2018

People who overestimate their understanding of political issues are more likely to believe conspiracy theories, according to new research that appears in the European Journal for Social Psychology.

“Conspiracy theories about government actors and institutions are widespread across the political ideological spectrum,” remarked study author Joseph A. Vitriol, a postdoctoral research associate at Lehigh University. “These beliefs attribute outsized influence to hidden actors or clandestine groups who are perceived as the root cause of an important world event, action, or outcome.”

“Because conspiracy beliefs often preserve discredited assumptions or serve as a basis for dismissing information that challenges one’s worldview, they are often difficult to correct (as is true for many political misperceptions) and can therefore undermine the ability for citizens to effectively and ethically engage in the political process.”

“Indeed, these beliefs are not constrained to the politically disengaged or the uninformed. Instead, conspiracy theories are commonly endorsed and propagated by actors at the highest levels of political power and, as a result, are consequential for public policy,” Vitriol said.

“In short, conspiracy beliefs are important influences on citizens’ political judgment and behavior. This can undermine the ability of elected officials to address problems in society with evidence-based public policy and governance. By investigating the psychological underpinning of conspiracy beliefs, we are better able to understand how these beliefs form and spread. We are also better able to identify strategies for informing or educating the public and combating the influence of false and fabricated information on political psychology and behavior.”

(more at the link)
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