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Who are these conspiracists, anyway, and what are they thinking?

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posted on May, 14 2005 @ 10:31 PM
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Who are these conspiracists, anyway, and what are they thinking?

In his thread “Are you a conspiracist?” (www.abovetopsecret.com... ), our colleague Realist05 asks ten questions in an effort to determine belief sets of self-selected ATS posters. The survey lists ten commonly-discussed conspiracies and asks the respondents to signify acceptance or rejection of these beliefs by ascribing a 0 (I don’t believe at all) to 10 (I believe wholeheartedly).

I have taken the opportunity to do a quick analysis of the current responses to the survey, and present it here for your review.

Before I continue, though, I should make several points:

(1) I am not hijacking Realist05’s excellent efforts or work. I do not know what his data-reduction and evaluation protocols will be; I am just giving my own quick evaluation to possibly stimulate discussion.

(2) The results, as I am sure Realist05 would agree, are not a statistically significant “snapshot” of the population at large; to have this would require a completely different survey approach, such as telephone surveys which take into consideration several demographics. Indeed, we can assume that the results of this survey are not really valid for the posters or lurkers at ATS, since the respondents self-select. In other words, people with one belief set might chose not to respond to any or all of the survey

(3) The results of my analyses are not statistically significant, since I am using only eleven samples, all that was available as of this time.


Here are the questions, followed by a statistical mean and a standard deviation.


The war on terrorism is a subterfuge aimed at promoting public acceptance of an American takeover of the middle east.
3.36 3.5573

JFK was murdered as part of a conspiracy involving people at the highest level of the American government.
3.18 3.2193

Scientific and technical advances of the last 40 years have been driven in large part by reverse engineering based on alien devices.
0.64 1.1201

NASA never landed men on the moon.
1.36 2.4606

The American government operates secret hypersonic aircraft such as Aurora and Tier 3.
7.27 2.4121

Bigfoot is for real.
3.18 2.7136

AIDS was developed as a weapon by the American government.
3.00 4.1473

A secret society directs the policies of world governments.
3.55 3.4457

An ancient society much farther advanced than ours once existed on earth.
3.00 4.1952

The Holocaust of 6 million Jews by Nazis never took place.
0.00 0.0000

RESPONDENT TOTALS
22 31 12 17 9 61 47 18 43 42 12

RESPONDENT Mean
28.55

A Word on “MEAN” and “SDEV”: “Mean” or “Statistical Mean” is simply what most of us call “average”: the sum of the responses divided by the population (in this case, eleven). SDEV, or standard deviation, defined as the square root of the variance, but without all the math, it boils down (in this case) to how much difference there is in the answers to a question. For example, if everyone says “The Holocaust of 6 million Jews by Nazis never took place” (which they did) the standard deviation is zero. If you have some people answering 0 to a question and others answering 8, as in “The war on terrorism is a subterfuge aimed at promoting public acceptance of an American takeover of the middle east.” You will get a high SDEV, in this case, 3.56.

Outliers. Often, researchers will remove any anomalous responses, or “outliers” from as population to give a better statistical picture of the question. For example, the question “NASA never landed men on the moon” has an outlier, in that one person answered 8 while the rest of the responses were 2, 3, and 0. Had we removed that single outlier, the results would have been much more similar to the previous question, “Scientific and technical advances of the last 40 years have been driven in large part by reverse engineering based on alien devices” with an SDEV of only 1.12.

However, the science of removing statistical anomalies or outliers without tainting the conclusions are complex, and to keep the analysis as simple as possible, I have not removed any outliers or tweaked the raw data in any way.

Raw Data by Question. The two scenarios considered least likely to be true were “The Holocaust of 6 million Jews by Nazis never took place” with a mean of 0; and “Scientific and technical advances of the last 40 years have been driven in large part by reverse engineering based on alien devices” with a mean of 0.64. The two scenarios considered most likely to be true are “The American government operates secret hypersonic aircraft such as Aurora and Tier 3” with a mean of 7.27, and “A secret society directs the policies of world governments” with a mean of 3.55.

When it comes to agreement ( measured by SDEV) the one question everyone agrees on is “The Holocaust of 6 million Jews by Nazis never took place” with a SDEV of 0, followed by “Scientific and technical advances of the last 40 years have been driven in large part by reverse engineering based on alien devices” with an SDEV of 1.12. the two questions where there was the wide range of disagreement was “An ancient society much farther advanced than ours once existed on earth” with an SDEV of 4.2 followed by “AIDS was developed as a weapon by the American government” with an SDEV 4.15.

Raw Data by Respondent Respondents, based on their replies, ranged from extreme skeptics, with a total of 9, to the most accepting of conspiracies, with a total of 61. The mean “skepticism factor” was 28.55.

The “Holocaust” Factor. One puzzling question was “The Holocaust of 6 million Jews by Nazis never took place” in that every respondent rated the chance of the Holocaust being a hoax at exactly zero. Although this response is (in my opinion, anyway) supported by historical data and evidence, such evidence – or lack thereof – has not stopped other beliefs from being put forward. The only reason I can see for this universal acceptance of the official Holocaust story is the very obvious bias of ATS against “Nazi” beliefs which would probably make any respondent think twice about agreeing with an assertion that is seen as “Politically incorrect”

Conclusion. The data collected, along with the reduction and evaluation, paint an interesting picture of the ATS respondents. I can only hope that our colleague Realist05 shares his final data sets and reduction methodologies with us to further refine our understanding of this survey.




posted on May, 14 2005 @ 11:48 PM
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I just added another sample the conspiracy questions. The stats are interesting, but preliminary. Keep in mind you need around 30 samples for a normal distribution, and you should test for normalcy before the stats are valid. Otherwise, you should use a correction factor from the student t table, which increases the uncertainty of the stats. I agree, I doubt the samples will represent a normal population coming from a conspiracy website.

Just messin with you OTS.


The replies are a little surprising that it looks like there are more skeptics around than I thought. But it looks like everyone has at least one conspiracy that they think is real. I'm guessing that if someone didn’t believe in any, they would not be here.



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 02:16 PM
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I don't see a problem with the conspiracies listed.
Are we supposed to sit idly by, and believe noone conspires, just as we're supposed to believe UFO's do not exsist, and that in this entire limitless universe we are the only creations?

I think not, nor will I be lead into believing such idiotic subjects.



posted on May, 15 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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Quite interesting statistical results. The data on members' beliefs on the Holocaust are interesting, as you say the other questions posed aren't any less preposterous.

I think some of the questions could have been simpler and more to the point, for example rather than asking if technology is from aliens, one could have asked simply if you believe aliens are visiting the Earth.




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