Are there other conspiracies of which you are aware?
Do you u believe him so blindly ?
Don't you see the huge flaws in his 'reasoning'?
BM: What do you do when you come up with someone who has a conspiracy theory, like humans didn't land on the moon? How can you have a rational conversation with them?
JP: That's a very good question, and I think it depends on who you're dealing with. There are many people who are open to a conspiratorial explanation, but also open to a non-conspiratorial explanation. I think it's very possible to have a good conversation where you evaluate all the evidence. But if someone is highly convinced of a certain truth, like humans never landed on the moon and that's a fact and there's no other way around it, then I think it's very difficult to change their mind.
Paper in the journal European Journal of Social Psychology
Featuring outspoken US publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Dr. Michael Shermer, who uses scientific methods to question if there is truth behind the theories with his "Baloney Detection Kit" and British psychologist Patrick Leman who explains the social needs for conspiracy theorists' beliefs, Conspiracy Rising takes a hard, penetrating look at the psycho-social and philosophical roots of conspiracy theories, examining who tends to believe in them and why.
"We're all conspiracy theorists, some of us are just better at hiding it than others" - Rob Brotherton
Rob Brotherton has been studying conspiracy theories -- where they come from and why we believe in them -- for the better part of a decade. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at Barnard College and the author of "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories".
While it's easy to dismiss conspiracy theorists as tin foil hat wearers (or if you are a truther, to dismiss mainstream society as sheeple), Brotherton explains that people may be predisposed to believing conspiracy theories because of evolutionary traits. Furthermore, everyone has these qualities, some of us just more so than others.
Profile of a conspiracy theorist
Paranoid… but only slightly more paranoid than the average person.
Open minded. They'll try new things -- including unorthodox ideas.
Consistent. A person who believes one conspiracy theory tends to believe others, even if the theories have nothing in common.
So where do conspiracy theories come from? Brotherton says they're the result of people trying to explain the world around them by identifying -- and misidentifying -- patterns. Essentially, conspiracy theories are a product of our natural evolutionary biases.
"Conspiracy theories fit with a lot of our biases. We're biased towards seeing patterns -- finding meaning -- even if it's not really out there. We're biased towards seeing intentions, rather than just assuming that things happen by accident; we tend to assume that somebody wanted it to happen. We're biased towards thinking that if something big happens in the world it has a big cause. We don't like to think that big events -- like the assassination of a president -- could have been caused by something as insignificant as one slightly unbalanced guy that nobody has ever heard of before. We have lots of these biases that are built into our brains for probably good evolutionary reasons, but a consequence is that sometimes we arrive at mistaken beliefs. Sometimes we might buy into a conspiracy theory regardless of whether it's really true or not." - Rob Brotherton
It is getting all hilarious.