Conspiracy theory mentality

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We all love a good story, and some of the most fascinating ones are conspiracy theories – often full of intrigue and difficult to debunk. You know them: elaborate murder plots, clandestine government plans, and schemes behind big political, cultural, and historic events.

Polls show 20 to 60 percent of Americans believe there is some truth to conspiracy theories. Some see them simply as engaging, if not ridiculous, explanations that help us make sense out of distressing events and circumstances.

Dan Gottlieb and his guests Derek Arnold and Michael J. Wood discuss conspiracy theory mentality. Who is likely to hatch a conspiracy theory, and why are these stories so prevalent and alluring?

Derek Arnold is a Communication faculty expert with an expertise in conspiracy theories at Villanova University.

Michael Wood is a post-graduate researcher in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. He looks at how conspiracy theories differ psychologically from conventional explanations for events.

AP Photo


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