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Shortly after terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center and mangled the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories blossomed about secret and malevolent government plots behind the tragic events. A report scheduled to appear in an upcoming Applied Cognitive Psychology offers a preliminary psychological profile of people who believe in 9/11 conspiracies.
A team led by psychologist Viren Swami of the University of Westminster in London identified several traits associated with subscribing to 9/11 conspiracies, at least among British citizens. These characteristics consist of backing one or more conspiracy theories unrelated to 9/11, frequently talking about 9/11 conspiracy beliefs with likeminded friends and others, taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, feeling generally suspicious toward others and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook.
“Often, the proof offered as evidence for a conspiracy is not specific to one incident or issue, but is used to justify a general pattern of conspiracy ideas,”
Goertzel says the new study provides an intriguing but partial look at the inner workings of conspiracy thinking. Such convictions critically depend on what he calls “selective skepticism.” Conspiracy believers are highly doubtful about information from the government or other sources they consider suspect. But, without criticism, believers accept any source that supports their preconceived views, he says.
“Arguments advanced by conspiracy theorists tell you more about the believer than about the event,” Goertzel says.
Swami’s finding that 9/11 conspiracy believers frequently spoke with likeminded individuals supports the notion that “conspiracy thinkers constitute a community of believers,”
Conspiracy thinkers share an optimistic conviction that they can find “the truth,” spread it to the masses and foster social change,
The study, still unpublished, shows that conspiracy believers displayed a greater propensity than nonbelievers to jump to conclusions based on limited evidence.
“It seems likely that conspiratorial beliefs serve a similar psychological function to superstitious, paranormal and, more controversially, religious beliefs, as they help some people to gain a sense of control over an unpredictable world,”
Over the past 50 years, researchers and observers of social dynamics have traced beliefs in conspiracy theories to feelings of powerlessness, attempts to bolster self-esteem and diminished faith in government.
Goertzel says the new study provides an intriguing but partial look at the inner workings of conspiracy thinking.
Originally posted by MemoryShock
That said...aside from blanketing the conspiracy minded individual as a stereotype, there are some accurate assessments within his expression...
Much as Swami’s team suspected, beliefs in 9/11 conspiracy theories were stronger among individuals whose personalities combined suspicion and antagonism toward others with intellectual curiosity and an active imagination.
Originally posted by Faiol
yes, there are some kind of people with this profile ... but there are others that dont represent this ...
Originally posted by Breifne
So, such a report, whilst a little poke in the eye at the CT's, only look through blinkers and thus finds itself, if it dared look, staring at ignorance and therefore becomes the butt of the joke it had intended for the delusional.