What traits are conducive to these behaviors? It is a combination of personality traits and motivations. It includes relying heavily on intuition, having a feeling of superiority, and perceiving threats in the environment. Research in the journal Psychological Bulletin explains why we believe in conspiracies. It is published by the American Psychological Association.
Lead author Shauna Bowes explains. “It is not likely that all conspiracy theorists are simple-minded people. Many resort to this to satisfy lacking motivational needs. In this way they give meaning to distress and deterioration.”
People prone to
Data from 170 studies with over 158,000 participants were analyzed. What was the main trait? The need to understand and feel safe in their environment. And feeling that the community they identify with is superior to others.
When are people more likely to believe certain conspiracy theories? When they are motivated by social relationships. Participants who perceived social threats were more likely to believe conspiracy theories based on concrete facts. Such as the theory that the U.S. government planned the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Rather than an abstract theory that governments harm their citizens in order to retain power.
“Social identity motives can result in being attracted to the content of a conspiracy theory. People motivated by the desire to feel unique have another focus. They are more likely to believe in general conspiracies about how the world works.”
There are frequent personality traits. For example, a feeling of antagonism toward others and high levels of paranoia. They are more likely to be insecure, paranoid, emotionally volatile, impulsive and distrustful.
There are five major personality traits. Extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. They have a much smaller relationship with conspiratorial thinking. Future research should be conducted keeping in mind that conspiratorial thinking is complicated. There are important and diverse variables that should be explored. The relationships between conspiracy thinking, motivation and personality should be analyzed. Then we can understand why we believe in conspiracies so easily. And what is the psychology behind these ideas.