Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exposure to conspiracy theories can be detrimental for political engagement and environmental campaigns

Date:
January 16, 2013
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
New research has revealed that exposure to conspiracy theories decreases people’s intentions to engage in politics and to reduce their carbon footprint.

New research published January 14 in the British Journal of Psychology has revealed that exposure to conspiracy theories decreases people's intentions to engage in politics and to reduce their carbon footprint.

Related Articles


The research, which was conducted by the University of Kent's Daniel Jolley and Dr Karen Douglas, both experts on the psychology of conspiracy theories, involved two studies.

In the first study, participants were exposed to a range of conspiracy theories concerning government involvement in significant events such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting conspiracy theories reduced participants' intentions to engage in politics, relative to participants who were given information refuting conspiracy theories.

In the second study, participants were exposed to conspiracy theories concerning the issue of climate change. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting the conspiracy theories reduced participants' intentions to reduce their carbon footprint, relative to participants who were given refuting information, or those in a control condition.

In both studies, exposure to information supporting conspiracy theories increased feelings of powerlessness, which in turn decreased participants' intentions to engage in political and climate change behaviours.

PhD student Daniel Jolley said: 'Psychologists are learning more about the individual traits associated with beliefs in conspiracy theories and the extent to which conspiracy theories influence people's attitudes about significant social and political events. However, there is a need to understand what these beliefs entail.'

Dr Douglas added: 'Our studies demonstrate that wariness about conspiracy theories may indeed be warranted. We provide evidence that exposure to conspiracy theories can potentially have important social consequences. Our findings open up a new line of research investigating the consequences of an ever-growing climate of conspiracism.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Jolley, Karen M. Douglas. The social consequences of conspiracism: Exposure to conspiracy theories decreases intentions to engage in politics and to reduce one's carbon footprint. British Journal of Psychology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12018

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Exposure to conspiracy theories can be detrimental for political engagement and environmental campaigns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130116090134.htm>.
University of Kent. (2013, January 16). Exposure to conspiracy theories can be detrimental for political engagement and environmental campaigns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130116090134.htm
University of Kent. "Exposure to conspiracy theories can be detrimental for political engagement and environmental campaigns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130116090134.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins