Tom Jacobs reports that “new research finds those on the political extremes are more susceptible [to conspiracy theories] than moderates,” at Pacific Standard:
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As we noted last year, belief in conspiracy theories is surprisingly common. So who is particularly susceptible to falling for these often-outrageous narratives?
New research from the Netherlands suggests the answer is people on the political extremes.
Those on both the far right and far left tend to “adhere to their belief system in a rigid fashion, leading them to perceive their political ideas as the simple and only solution to societal problems,” writes a research team led by psychologist Jan-Willem van Prooijen of VU University Amsterdam.
“Conspiracy beliefs feed into a core feature of political extremism, namely a desire to make sense of societal events through a set of clear-cut assumptions about the world.”
This in turn “induces them to perceive evil conspiracies as causal explanations for various events,” they conclude in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.