Rescue from Conspiracy Theories

Part 1. What leads a person to believe conspiracy theories.

The Pain is Real.

Reading through support groups such as Reddit’s r/QAnonCasualties demonstrates just how non-farfetched this scenario is. With well over 50% of Americans believing conspiracy theories today, there is a good chance that you know someone personally that has “fallen down the rabbit hole” of wild speculations.(1) Often the evidence is non-existent or shaky at best, but none-the-less, well-educated, and otherwise sane individuals increasingly believe ideas that defy conventional logic.(2)

Who Believes This Stuff?

Surprisingly, the demographic that believes conspiracies isn’t what one would expect. The fact that 15 percent of those with postgraduate degrees believe that powerful people planned the pandemic shows that intellect isn’t the issue.(2) Conspiracy theories bypass logical thinking centers of the brain by design. It’s our fascination with patterns, driven by powerlessness and anxiety, that lead us to believe through the gateway of emotion rather than critical thinking.

  1. https://slate.com/technology/2021/01/conspiracy-theories-coronavirus-fake-psychology.html
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-013-9165-6
  3. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0075637
  4. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-08-individuals-psychological-effects-power-powerlessness.html
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447388/
  6. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170809-the-accidental-invention-of-the-illuminati-conspiracy

A Creative Director in Austin, a pilot, an ordained minister, and a centrist researcher trying to find a way to connect the intangible to the tangible.

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