Many or even most conspiracy theories are demonstrably false. But some, like Watergate, are true. How can we determine which are which? Drawing on his own experiences with conspiracy theorists, Stephan Lewandowsky writes that conspiratorial thinking is not necessarily truth-seeking behavior, but can often be a near-self destructive form of skepticism. We can use this skepticism, along with conspiracists’ tendency towards pattern-seeking and […]
Why looking through the lens of religion can help us to understand the popularity of conspiracy theories like Pizzagate
Conspiracy theories rarely lead to violence; with the main exception being 2016’s Pizzagate which culminated in a gunman threatening a pizza restaurant which he believed was a front for a satanic paedophile ring. David G. Robertson and Asbjorn Dyrendal unpack some of the reasons why conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate can gain ground so rapidly, citing links to the […]
Almost 60 percent of Americans believe in conspiracy theories about JFK. Here’s why that might be a problem.
November 22nd marks 55 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. More than half a century after the event, a majority of Americans believe that more people were involved with the killing than simply Lee Harvey Oswald. Joseph E. Uscinski takes a close look at Kennedy conspiracy theories, arguing that one of the reasons […]
Conspiracy theories about American politics are nothing new, but recent months have seen an upswing in their impact, after pipe bombs were mailed by a conspiracy theorist to high-profile figures with links to the Democratic Party. Adam M. Enders and Steven M. Smallpage write that conspiracy thinking is not dangerous in and of itself: most Americans have a tendency […]