Do People believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Do People believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Who creates conspiracy theories? Why do people choose to believe this?

We encounter conspiracy theories on daily basis. Many of us ignore them one way or another. However, there are a handful of people who believe in those theories. The reason for their belief might vary but at the end of the day, they fall in the same category. Most of the times, a conspiracy theory is born through irrational analysis of the evidence. You might find an example or two where rational thinking was used to support such a theory but it is a rarity. According to a general concept, there are countless explanations for why people believe in conspiracies theories but scientists are determined to find the reasons that allow human brain to accept these suppositional scenarios. All the work that has been done in this field can be divided into two major branches, Desire, and Cognitive bias.

There are certain things that are part and parcel of human nature. One of the most common among them is to have understanding and certainty. That’s the reason behind all the questioning that we do on a regular basis. We tend to get our answers quickly and want them to coincide with our pre-established beliefs. This gives way to incorrect answers that we do accept as they are comforting to us. We wrap ourselves up in them and ignores any information that comes our way to nullify our version. This helps to remain certain about things and it is a really pleasant feeling to have.

Another desire that pushes us towards conspiracy theories is to feel good about ourselves. All of us like it when we are acknowledged whether we accept it openly or not. That’s the reason why socially marginalized people are more likely to believe in these theories. Interacting with people and influencing their lives in a positive manner is something that provides self-satisfaction and it makes us happy. This gives purpose to our lives and keeps us going. Contrary to that, people who spend their time in isolation have higher chances of inclining towards conspiracy theories. They have a lot of spare time to research about these false realities and this knowledge makes them think they know more than you. This is their source of internal peace.

It is the ultimate goal to have control of things around you. It makes you feel secure. The most common example in this regard is that you feel safer when you are driving the car than being a passenger. Having said that, this desire can also bring you closer to conspiracy theories. The best example that can help you to understand this concept is, ‘Global Warming’. Once you believe that the temperature of our planet is on a serious rise and it can have catastrophic effects, you will need to mold your lifestyle in a way that is friendlier to the environment. Your personal comforts may have to go out of the window to make that possible. In such cases, motivated reasoning, like this a hoax created for publicity, can make you believe a conspiracy theory.

The way we process any received information has a massive role in building up our beliefs. Confirmation bias is the most powerful thing in this regard. All of us have some pre-defined knowledge and anything that comes our way is analyzed in light of that. The evidence which is collinear with our beliefs is given more weight while ignoring attitude is adopted wherever contradiction is observed. All the conspiracy theories have an unclear and complex base, to begin with. The error-prone findings and reports are ideal for all the conspiracy theorists out there.

It is a common assumption that big events have huge causes. Scientifically, it is known as Proportionality bias. It also plays an important role in promoting conspiracy theories. If you follow this pattern of thinking, it is pretty much possible that you will ignore the facts and look for bigger reasons behind an enormous event. An example that can be quoted here is the killing of the President John F. Kennedy. As the scale of this murder is mammoth, your brain will not accept that it was the act of a lone gunman. It will be much easier for you to digest that Kennedy became a victim of an international conspiracy.

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