Thinking and Reasoning 22 (1):57-77 (2016)

Abstract
We hypothesised that belief in conspiracy theories would be predicted by the general tendency to attribute agency and intentionality where it is unlikely to exist. We further hypothesised that this tendency would explain the relationship between education level and belief in conspiracy theories, where lower levels of education have been found to be associated with higher conspiracy belief. In Study 1 participants were more likely to agree with a range of conspiracy theories if they also tended to attribute intentionality and agency to inanimate objects. As predicted, this relationship accounted for the link between education level and belief in conspiracy theories. We replicated this finding in Study 2, whilst taking into account beliefs in paranormal phenomena. These results suggest that education may undermine the reasoning processes and assumptions that are reflected in conspiracy belief
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DOI 10.1080/13546783.2015.1051586
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References found in this work BETA

Perceptual Causality and Animacy.Brian J. Scholl & Patrice D. Tremoulet - 2000 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (8):299-309.
Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures.Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2):202-227.
Divine Intuition: Cognitive Style Influences Belief in God.Amitai Shenhav, David G. Rand & Joshua D. Greene - 2012 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 141 (3):423.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Expertise and Conspiracy Theories.M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (3):196-208.
Conspiracy Theories and Reasonable Pluralism.Matej Cíbik & Pavol Hardoš - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory:147488511989923.

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