Study Reveals Conspiracy Theorists Are More Rational


Conspiracy theorists are often referred to as crazy "cranks," or "crackpots," and the more outlandish their theories the more rigorously they are derided. The truth can often be stranger than fiction, however, so the pursuit of the truth should be a laudable endeavor and not something to be ridiculed or scoffed at.

Consequently, it comes as no surprise that a recent study has identified conspiracy theorists as being more sane than their conventionalist counterparts.

Those who always accept the official version of events without question are less likely to be of sound judgement, while those labeled as conspiracy theorists appear to possess more clarity and presence of mind.

The study, entitled "What About Building 7?" and conducted by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent in the U.K., was published last July, and compared the comments of those with pro-conspiracy views against those who subscribed to conventional explanations . A total of 2174 comments were reviewed, with 1459 originating from conspiracy theorists and a mere 715 from those adopting a conformist stance. The comments reviewed were sourced online from news websites, and the ratio between the two factions illustrated that the conspiracists outnumbered the conventionalists by two to one.

The researchers noted that the most hostile comments originated from the conventionalists, who seemed to be far more intolerant of opposing viewpoints. It was hypothesised that those who held conservative beliefs were more defensive as they perceived themselves to be a small minority group. They became almost fanatical about their convictions, whereas the pro-conspiracists were more flexible and open-minded. Their primary objective was not to press their own version of events, but just to undermine the official explanation which they did not feel was a true representation of the facts.

The study concluded that it was the conformists who behaved in a manner more consistent with the perceived stereotype of the "conspiracy theorist," that is, a person who behaves in a fanatical, hostile, defensive manner, who is obsessed with their own opinions and who is unwilling to consider or accept any alternative explanations. Continue reading

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