What conspiracy theory do most people believe?
Which people believe in conspiracy theories?
If you look at psychological research, the answer to this is not particularly consistent. It comes to different conclusions. One tendency that you can see, however, is that the more people turn to extreme political positions - be it on the left or on the right edge of society - the more they tend to believe conspiracy theories. And we can explain that quite well if we fall back on sociology. Because in the present - as I said, it was different in the past: it was actually normal to believe conspiracy theories, it was mainstream - in the present it is so that ultimately the term “marginalization” is best explained who might have a tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. People who feel marginalized or who are afraid of being marginalized, or who are also de facto marginalized, are particularly prone to this. Then we also see the close proximity that conspiracy theories have to populism. All these populist movements that we have seen emerge in recent years - in the USA: Trump, in Germany: Pegida - are also a place for conspiracy theorists.
Do you still need a certain trigger - for example a catastrophe or a political event - or is a certain social affiliation enough to come up with conspiracy theories?
Of course, you can't make it absolute. But the fact is, you will find conspiracy theories everywhere. Even with all genders - even if men are more inclined to do so than others. Basically, it is argued about marginalization, it does not need the great catastrophe. Rather, with these people who believe in it, many things come together. For example, you have the feeling that the elected representatives no longer really represent you, but serve some other gentleman. And you can find very, very much evidence of this: The country is changing. One has the impression that the country has been alienated; Couples are allowed to marry at once in combinations that were not allowed before; you've lost your job - all of these things add up. This leads to people developing a tendency to explain this with a conspiracy theory. Because the conspiracy theory also has such a utopian-optimistic dimension: If it is a conspiracy that is behind it, then it is at least theoretically conceivable that this conspiracy can be defeated and one can turn back the wheel of time - that one can close again can return to a status that once existed. If you say: These are major, structural, social changes that ultimately nobody is really to blame and that nobody can really influence, then that would be impossible. And in this respect, conspiracy theorists, even if it sometimes doesn't seem like that to us, are also optimists somewhere.
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