Psychologists explain why some people support alternate conspiracy theories concerning 9/11

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posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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Wow! That is the most thinly veiled Ad Hominem attack on a group of people which these psychologists have herded into a paradigm of their discerning. Lets examine, not forgetting that the real subject matter of this/these shill(s) is the 911 Truth movement, as opposed to what they term "conspiracy theorists". 911 may appear to be almost lost in their piece but it is actually the primary focus.



a) One of the major predictors of conspiracy theorism is the belief in other conspiracies in addition to 9/1 conspiracies. To quote Swami and colleagues: "believing that John F. Kennedy was not killed by a lone gunman or that the Apollo moon landings were staged increases the chances that an individual will also believe 9-11 conspiracy theories." People build a consistent world view. For these conspiracy theorists, their consistent world view is that the truth is always being covered up. Although this may seem like an obvious finding in retrospect, this didn't have to be true. People could have picked their conspiracy theories based on their political views - then these notions would not have all hung together. But no, people who believe some conspiracy theories are more likely to accept additional conspiracy theories for the simple fact that it conforms with their view of the world
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OK, in this paragraph we start out by identifying conspiracy theory as an 'ism', as in sexISM, fascISM,racISM. Get the picture?The tone has been set. Then, 911 is immediately linked to other conspiracies, notably the contesting of the moon landings which is what I'd call a deliberate lead balloon argument.Then there is the outrageous claim that if a person has interest in more than one conspiracy that it is impossible for the two to be linked politically.The only connection between the two can be the CT's fetish fo conspiracy.



b) The personalities of those who accept such conspiracy ideas regardless of the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever have common characteristics, defined according to Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. For example, openness, as defined by the authors, defines how a person accepts new experiences and information, and their findings show that conspiracy theorists have a higher degree of openness to new experiences and thought patterns than others. People who display Openness to Experience are considered intellectually curious, open-minded, and creative. But sometimes being open to creative, unusual ideas may introduce naive information processing mechanisms and lead people to accept unusual ideas in similarly unusual ways. For example, someone who believes the 9/11 attack was staged by a clandestine organization of Satan worshippers would be more likely to accept circular logic and interpret the lack of any evidence as being a coverup by these same Satan worshippers, despite the lack of any evidence for this, either.


Author starts this one with an affirmation of the notion that CTs operate entirely off a complete lack of any evidence.That's an absolute statement cleverly slipped in to the sentence (hence the split infinitive). The author goes on to almost compliment the openmindedness of CTs before warning us of the folly to be found therein. Cue the Satan Worshipers, he now introduces the smear, with a hypothesis involving occult tomfoolery.The author implies that there are those who believe Satanists were involved but due to deliberately inbuilt ambiguity, can claim he was hypothesising. It's a straight up smear job.



c) Interesting enough, agreeableness was negatively related to belief in 9-11 conspiracy theories. People who are less agreeable were more accepting of 9-11 conspiracy theories, as people who score low on agreeableness are generally more likely to have higher skepticism and be more suspicious about other people's motives.



How was the agreeability of the CT subjects gauged? If the preceding paragraphs are any thing to go by, I'd say with great disdain. "as people who score low on agreeableness are generally more likely to have higher skepticism and be more suspicious about other people's motives"---- And that's just a fact so face it.




d) The general conspiracy theory belief scale was predicted by other factors - in particular, cynicism and a rejection of the political system. Those who hold political beliefs that involve extreme cynicism of the system would instinctively lead them to disbelieve any explanation that the system would provide.

Translation: If you go against the status quo, you will be branded as one of these loonies and will be targetted as such.Cynicism is used instead of criticism.This is very much deliberate wording as many people hold blurred lines of differentiation between the two.Oh and there's a scale to measure your madness also.Very scientifical! Can't argue with scienceness.You are f*#%&d.
edit on 22-9-2011 by blah yada because: (no reason given)
edit on 22-9-2011 by blah yada because: spelling error
edit on 22-9-2011 by blah yada because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Do the smallest amount of research into demolitions of large buildings and you will see that a small group doing what you describe in a tiny timeframe would be next to impossible. Add in that they have to do it secretly, without altering the fabric of the building too much and - nah, too way out.

As for just walking around in Dell Uniforms for a few months - have you ever worked in a large office building? You might get away with it for a bit, but there's a good chance you'd be caught. And a "good chance" isn't probably something you'd want to risk your world-domination plan on, is it?



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:30 PM
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Also, I like how this piece is authored by someone quoting the psychologists, a middleman if you will. How much is quote and how much paraphrase I wonder?



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by GoodOlDave
 


In the OP, you (the original article) said: "People who display Openness to Experience are considered intellectually curious, open-minded, and creative. "

I'm going to take that as a compliment! That's exactly how I would describe myself. Thanks! :-)

I am a teacher who works with gifted students, and I think being intellectually curious, open-minded, and creative are positive characteristics.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by GoodOlDave

Originally posted by FOXMULDER147
I'd love to see a psychological profile of the exact opposite - someone who believes everything the media tell them, without question.

That would be even more interesting, IMO.


I myself would actually like to find someone who really does "believe everything the government tells them". That's the excuse the conspiracy theorists always cling to in order to sooth their bruised egos from not getting anywhere with their conspiracy evangelism, but I haven't met even one person who does "believe everything the government tells them".

My mother is in her 80's and she's more cynical about the gov't than anyone here.

Who mentioned "government"?

Slipped there, didn't ya.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia
reply to post by GoodOlDave
 


No, you misunderstand. For a long time, the government relied on the lone gunmen. John Wilkes Boothe with Abraham Lincoln,

Boothe had a number of co-conspirators. There was even a recent Hollywood movie about them. At least two of them were gunmen, although one's gun jammed and the other didn't go through with it.


no matter how you look at it the government conspiracy theory falls apart, because it's just too complex.

I just wanted to see this again.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by GoodOlDave
.....
Third, which is the most important observation of all, the conspiracy theorists aren't subscribing to these conspiracy claims out of any real consideration of any evidence. They subscribe to these conspiracy claims simply because they want to believe they are true, as they serve as an emotional outlet for their own antiestablishment outlook on life.


No, they subscribe to conspiracy claims because government agencies come up with explanations like "thermal expansion".

Who writes this stuff?

Peace



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Now isn't he the in house shrink for the Big Brother reality Tv show? You know, that brainless, vomit inducing strain of entertainment they call reality Tv, the 'bread and circus' for the plebian sheeple. Ya that's him alright with his cool jackets and designer stubble.

Was Doctor Phil or Maury involved in this too?



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
This kind of strikes at the heart of the issue for me. The 9/11 conspiracy theorists do not employ or in some cases possess any critical thinking skills. I agree that many psychological factors go into the CTists but I think the core is always the same: they have no mental abilities to recognize B.S. when they hear it, nor how to recognize when they're being sold a bill of goods, nor have incentive or interest in investigating the truth or falsehood of a claim.


This is the difference between someone who subscribes to conspiracy theories and someone who is simply gullible. If, for example, someone in Nigeria claiming to be a millionaire sent us an email promising they will share their fortunes with us "for a small deposit", we're going to roll our eyes and delete it regardless of out opinions on 9/11...BUT, when someone sets up a slick looking web site claiming the 9/11 attack was secretly staged by [fill in the blank], the conspiracy theorists' will be inclined to believe it according to their individual antiestablishment outlook on life . Fill in the blank with "Jewish World Order" and the antisemites will accept it while those with inclinations against the US gov't will dismiss it, while filling in the blank with "secret CIA operatives" will cause the reverse to be true.

The proof is in the pudding- despite this "blatantly a conspiracy" these conspiracy theorists are insisting on, these people are all but getting into fistfights with each other over what the "blatantly a conspiracy" even is. This is because every conspiracy theorist has their own individual opinion of what the "blatantly a conspiracy" is, depending on which one of these slick conspiracy web sites they happened to have come across first. The position that "the Jewish World Order is out to take over the world" is almost certainly the entire reason why its theorists would visit "the Jewish World Order staged 9/11" web sites to begin with.

Ultimately, it's entirely based upon the conspiracy theorists' individual perceptions of what it happening, not what the evidence is showing is really happening. This is the point of the psychology report and it's a breath of fresh air that the position I've been taking all along is being professionally recognized.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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Adrian Furnham specialises in Organisational psychology. Here is a list of his works. It seems he has a resume befitting both a gamekeeper and a poacher. Some very very interesting titles.

The Protestant Work Ethic (1990) Culture Shock (1994), The New Economic Mind (1995), Personality at Work (1994), The Myths of Management (1996), The Psychology of Behaviour at Work (1997), The Psychology of Money (1998), The Psychology of Culture Shock (2001)The Incompetent Manager (2003), The Dark Side of Behaviour at Work (2004), The People Business (2005) Personality and Intellectual Competence (2005) Management Mumbo-Jumbo (2006) Head and Heart Management (2007) The Psychology of Physical Attraction (2007) The Body Beautiful (2007) Personality and Intelligence at Work (2008) Management Intelligence (2008) Dim Sum Management (2008) The Economic Socialisation of Children (2008) 50 Psychology Ideas you really need to know (2009) The Elephant in the Boardroom: The Psychology of Leadership Derailment (2009) People Management in Turbulent Times (2009) The Psychology of Personnel Selection (2010) Body Language in Business (2010)

Clients have included the Foreign Office, BT, TWA, Lloyds Bank, Cathay Pacific Airways, Channel Four, Abbey Life, Boots, Hambros Bank, Ritz Hotel, British Rail, Air New Zealand, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Marks and Spencer, Careers Research Forum and Barclays Bank.

Busy boy!



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by Dr Love
No, they subscribe to conspiracy claims because government agencies come up with explanations like "thermal expansion".

Who writes this stuff?


Psychologists Viren Swami, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, and Adrian Furnham, for the medical journal "Applied Cognitive Psychology", Volume 24, Issue 6.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:56 PM
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Viren Swami.................... I had to laugh. He's an agony aunt.Heres the bio.Or check out

www.youbeauty.com... ..........You beauty indeed!ROFLMAO

Dr. Viren Swami is a Reader in Psychology at the University of Westminster in London, England. Malaysian-born and British-educated, he is internationally recognized as an expert on interpersonal attraction and appearance-related issues. Much of his work adopts a cross-cultural perspective and he has developed a particular interest in perceptions of ideal body size in different national and cultural settings. His research also focuses on body image, particularly the promotion of healthier self-perceptions, and he currently serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Body Image. Dr. Swami’s other research interests are eclectic and he has previously published peer-reviewed articles on, among other things, conspiracy theories, tattoos (of which he has several), mental health literacy and aesthetic preferences. He has published some 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, has edited two volumes of chapters (“Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction” and “Body Beautiful: Evolutionary and Sociocultural Perspectives”), and is the author of “The Missing Arms of Venus de Milo” and (with Adrian Furnham) “The Psychology of Physical Attraction.” He lives in London with his partner Amy and their dog Brick.

Articles by Viren Swami, Ph.D.
Getting Up Close and Personal
Show, Not Tell: How We Say ‘I Like You’
Do We Choose Partners that are Similar to Us?
How Weight and Waist-Hip-Ratio Relate to Health
Is There an Ideal Waist-to-Hip Ratio?
The Science of the Hourglass Body Figure
All About Women’s Body Shape
What Qualities Do We Find Attractive?
Why Do We Think Beautiful = Good?
The Social Animal



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by blah yada
Viren Swami.................... I had to laugh. He's an agony aunt.Heres the bio.


He does actually have a phd in psychology. Which is rather a lot more than the qualifications for the claimed "psychology experts" in the OP!



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by psikeyhackr
 


Only you seem to have a problem with the 911 physics.

WHat about all those fired NASA employees? None of them are coming out saying the physics are wrong.
What about all those university professors? None of them have a problem with the physics.

Why should anyone believe little ole you? Do you hold any degrees that might apply?



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by TrickoftheShade
 


Of those three psychologists you have one old experienced heavyweight, with a potentially dubious resume, well versed in all the fields necessary to cover something up or sway public opinion.

The other two are in the media limelight, young hip, talented and no doubt delighted to be working with a giant in the trade.

The whole thing is nothing put a PR gig



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by GoodOlDave
Ultimately, it's entirely based upon the conspiracy theorists' individual perceptions of what it happening, not what the evidence is showing is really happening. This is the point of the psychology report and it's a breath of fresh air that the position I've been taking all along is being professionally recognized.


Indeed, the CTist seeks only to enforce a preconceived notion for which there exists no evidence. There's a lot of mental gymnastics involved, not unlike any other area where there are beliefs in things without evidence: bigfoot, various cults or religions, ancient aliens, etc.

The psychology of conspiracy theorists has been well-established but like you, I'm glad it's finally getting applied specifically to the 911 crowd. Many people have likely never encountered another type of CTist and are probably wondering what the hell is wrong with their son/daughter/uncle/whatever who is stuck in a whirlpool of irrationality.

I'm still of the opinion that if our public schools or parents taught people critical thinking skills we'd see a lot less 9/11 conspiracy theorists. When so many people can have their worldview radically altered because of something they saw online we have a serious deficit of critical thinking skills.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Well, I definitely agree about our educational institutions teaching critical thinking, but your opinion that there would be fewer CT'ists if that were the case is warped, there would be even more.

But what the hell, they're already teaching the OS to the kids in school, so they're pretty much a lost cause unless they can overcome their conditioning on their own.

Peace



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by psikeyhackr
The real psychology question is: "Why didn't the physics profession shoot this crap down in 2002?"


That is a great question.
And the answer is because there's nothing suspicious about the physics of 9/11.


So what have the physicists said about the "center of mass" of the tilted top portion of the south tower?

Where was it relative to the core of the stationary lower portion?

This entire business has the of keeping most people from understanding this grade school physics. The physicists can't even talk about the distribution of steel down the building. The psychology of this business is really dumb. So all of the people who believed the airliners could destroy the towers are really ...

psik



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by TrickoftheShade
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Do the smallest amount of research into demolitions of large buildings and you will see that a small group doing what you describe in a tiny timeframe would be next to impossible. Add in that they have to do it secretly, without altering the fabric of the building too much and - nah, too way out.


"Tiny timeframe?" How do You know when the work began? Maybe it was a year They worked on it. You don't know. And there were reports of workers getting into corners to work that no worker ever before went into... I'll see if I can find links, but this was on the web about 7 years ago, and is likely scrubbed by now (a LOT of things I saw after 9/11 are gone - the forensics team being interviewed, for one; They complained that all They got to examine was a small table of "evidence" (and They showed the table - it was small) hand-picked for Them to poke through, and They were not allowed on the scene; and the footage of an interview with some People who said They replayed the tape at the place where the FBI rounded up footage - and They claimed They saw a missile go into the Pentagon).

Point is, You cannot claim "Tiny timeframe" because You have no idea what timeframe contained the activities in question.


As for just walking around in Dell Uniforms for a few months - have you ever worked in a large office building? You might get away with it for a bit, but there's a good chance you'd be caught. And a "good chance" isn't probably something you'd want to risk your world-domination plan on, is it?


You have an odd view here, I think. Here's how *I* would do it if it was Me. 10 guys, buddies, paid VERY well by Me, and loyal (therefore) to the max. They enter the building as delivery People, with boxes innocuously marked. They go to the floors to deliver the boxes - maybe every 10 floors? whatever the need was. And then go to the restroom. Change into workman's clothing and do the first 10 positions. Next day or two (however long it takes to do any given floor), in come the "deliveries," up to the next 10 floors needing attention, and so on.

Seriously, I don't think it would take THAT long (They wire highrises in a day or three).



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by Dr Love
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Well, I definitely agree about our educational institutions teaching critical thinking, but your opinion that there would be fewer CT'ists if that were the case is warped, there would be even more.


That I'm not certain of. Anyone with basic critical thinking skills can find problems with the explanations coming from the government. However, that does not automatically render alternate theories as valid. Discrediting one account to usher in another is an argument from personal incredulity, and this fallacy stands as probably the most cited "evidence" in favor of any of the 911 CTs. That aside, all of the 911 CTs I've seen fall prey to similar fallacies - something that the CTists consistently and egregiously fail to identify.





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