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Sure. I have a chapter in my book, chapter five, in which it's called "A Field Guide to Conspiracy Theorists" in which I go through the psychological motivations of conspiracy theorists, and I break them down into eight different types. The most prominent type is what I call the failed historian. These are people who are simply unable to deal with the way that history has turned out, and they create fantasies to recreate history
REHM 11:37:18 You talk about the sort of conspiracy theorists who are going through a midlife crisis. KAY 11:37:27 Yeah, 'cause I have this typology where I show the eight different psychological profiles of some of the people I met. And sometimes it's 50-year-old men who are just looking for something new in life.
What are the other types?(do i have to listen?)
Type: "For this group," writes Kay "conspiracy theories are a tool to eliminate the cognitive dissonance that arrives when the course of human events doesn't cooperate with the results demanded by their ideology."
Type: "Like all forms of midlife crisis, the sudden lurch into conspiracism offers middle-aged men a sense of revitalization and adventure, writes Kay. "For a middle-aged man who's grown tired of life's patterns, conspiracism provides more than just fresh surroundings: It offers an entirely new reality."
Type: "Damaged survivors are particularly effective as recruiters for conspiracist movements," writes Kay, "because the spectacle of their grief short-circuits our intellectual faculties."
Type: "The Cosmic Voyager is the hippy of conspiracist typology," writes Kay. "He resembles ... a 'seeker' – a spiritual omnivore perpetually spiraling out toward the margins of Western cultural and political life. ... Since his mythology is vague and labile, he acst as a sort of conspiratorial Zelig, popping up at everything from Truther conventions to quack autism sites." Many get into Eastern mysticism, and all are convinced that reality is not what it seems. Often, the Voyager is a UFO obsessive.
Type: "Only a small minority of the [conspiracists] I encountered seem out-and-out insane," Kay writes. "When clinically insane individuals do take a prominent role in conspiracist movements, it is typically in the early stages, when they can work their own idiosyncratic notions into the movement's foundational mythology." He adds that "their paranoid fantasies are highly personalized narratives of their own construction – typically involving spouses, relatives, landlords, and work colleagues."
Type: Cranks are furiously contrarian rigorously logical. They crave the exhilirating sense of independence that comes with holding unpopular views and tend to be intellectual workaholics whose homes turn into archives, crammed with teetering piles of paperwork. The typical crank is a math teacher, computer scientist, investigative journalist.
Type: "Conspiracism is attractive to the Doomsayer," Kay writes "because it organizes all of the world's menacing threats into one monolithic force -- allowing him to reconcile the bewildering conplexities of the secular world with the good-versus-evil narrative contained in the book of revelation and other religious texts."
Type: "Conspiracists of the firebrand type are the easiest ones to spot," Kay writes, "because they are always the noisiest. For the firebrand, conspiracism supplies an ideological pretext to strike shocking, militant political postures, and thereby satisfy his hunger for public attention." Most are in their late teens or early twenties.