New York Times: Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories

JFDee

Senior Member.
Author Maggie Koerth-Baker wraps up some research around people who tend to believe in conspiracies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html

Excerpt:

An issue that several posters have brought up before (including me):

 
J

Joe

Guest
Author Maggie Koerth-Baker wraps up some research around people who tend to believe in conspiracies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html

Excerpt:

An issue that several posters have brought up before (including me):

The reason why conspiracies theories thrive is because everyone is sick of all the lies and half truths . No trust .
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member.
The reason why conspiracies theories thrive is because everyone is sick of all the lies and half truths . No trust .
Conspiracy theorists have no monopoly on full truths or reluctance to put out half-lies, Joe. They are fallible sinners just like everyone else.

They deserve no more or less trust than anyone else.

Don't expect the world to become truthful, it will not.

Watch G. Edward Griffin's flight tracking study and how Michael J. Murphy has successfully weaseled his way out of ever mentioning it in his movies or speaking engagements. Watch all the bogus ballast barrel pictures being claimed are something else Watch Dane Wigington claiming his aluminum samples have any relevance.
Watch William Thomas' claims hat he has hundreds of pictures of USAF tankers spraying out of tail booms.

About the only person you should trust is someone who genuinely loves you and you have known for a great period of time, preferably most of your life.
Even then they could make mistakes.

All claims require verification. People who use the word "Truth" a lot or ask you to trust them require even more.
 

JFDee

Senior Member.
The reason why conspiracies theories thrive is because everyone is sick of all the lies and half truths . No trust .
I can relate to that, what with the amount of spinning created by so many politicians and interest groups.

The question is: what will replace these half-truths? The likes of Alex Jones? Internet gossip?
The best bet for me is to rely in science and its mechanism of fact checking.

However I know that there is fascination in those ideas of big coverups and secret activities.
It's a bit like the crave for sweets that I know I have to push back for my own good ...
 
J

Joe

Guest
Conspiracy theorists have no monopoly on full truths or reluctance to put out half-lies, Joe. They are fallible sinners just like everyone else.

They deserve no more or less trust than anyone else.

Don't expect the world to become truthful, it will not.

Watch G. Edward Griffin's flight tracking study and how Michael J. Murphy has successfully weaseled his way out of ever mentioning it in his movies or speaking engagements. Watch all the bogus ballast barrel pictures being claimed are something else Watch Dane Wigington claiming his aluminum samples have any relevance.
Watch William Thomas' claims hat he has hundreds of pictures of USAF tankers spraying out of tail booms.

About the only person you should trust is someone who genuinely loves you and you have known for a great period of time, preferably most of your life.
Even then they could make mistakes.

All claims require verification. People who use the word "Truth" a lot or ask you to trust them require even more.
Ill agree that most of the conspiracies are filled with lies but I see no difference between news and conspiracies anymore .
 
J

Joe

Guest
I can relate to that, what with the amount of spinning created by so many politicians and interest groups.

The question is: what will replace these half-truths? The likes of Alex Jones? Internet gossip?
The best bet for me is to rely in science and its mechanism of fact checking.

However I know that there is fascination in those ideas of big coverups and secret activities.
It's a bit like the crave for sweets that I know I have to push back for my own good ...
I try to do fact checking as well but with the internet even thats hard to separate fact from conspiracy . or a lie
 

JFDee

Senior Member.
I try to do fact checking as well but with the internet even thats hard to separate fact from conspiracy . or a lie
That may appear so if you give the same weight to every single posting that you can find.

However, I think with a bit of common sense it is possible to sort through all the links properly.
I would look for references in every information bit. If there are none, it's not worth to be seriously considered.

If there are references, does their chain lead to a scientific paper eventually? Is there a connection with a university? Has it been published in a scientific journal?
There are also papers that look like scientific publications but are actually fabricated by interest groups. These are usually not peer-reviewed and confirmed by independent scientists working in the same field. In most cases, it's not hard to check for interest group connections.

Example for one of these:
http://www.friendsofscience.org/
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
That may appear so if you give the same weight to every single posting that you can find.

However, I think with a bit of common sense it is possible to sort through all the links properly.
I would look for references in every information bit. If there are none, it's not worth to be seriously considered.

If there are references, does their chain lead to a scientific paper eventually? Is there a connection with a university? Has it been published in a scientific journal?
There are also papers that look like scientific publications but are actually fabricated by interest groups. These are usually not peer-reviewed and confirmed by independent scientists working in the same field. In most cases, it's not hard to check for interest group connections.

Example for one of these:
http://www.friendsofscience.org/
Vetting a long standing conspiracy is many times daunting for the average citizen. . . just like trying to decide if a political candidate and their platform is realistic and supportable. . . . Most just give up and go with their intuition . . . how to change this dynamic is simply beyond the time most people have . . .
 

JFDee

Senior Member.
Most just give up and go with their intuition

And that's where the research comes in that is described in the article. Some people are more inclined than others to assume conspiracies. Their intuition is influenced by the culture they grew up in, and probably by personal experiences during their lifetime.

Intuition can lead in both directions - a scientific approach should bring the opposing views closer together again.

Regarding "the time most people have": that does not seem to apply to many chemtrail believers; my impression is that they spend a considerable amount of lifetime pondering their 'issue'.
 
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