Where are you on the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale?

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The Generic Conspiracy Beliefs scale by Rob Brotherton, et al, is a tool frequently used by researchers to get a quick measure of an individual's belief. This is often used to try to identify what other factors influence people's tendencies to believe in Conspiracy theories. It's composed of 15 questions:

  1. The government is involved in the murder of innocent citizens and/or well-known public figures, and keeps this a secret.
  2. The power held by heads of state is second to that of small unknown groups who really control world politics.
  3. Secret organizations communicate with extraterrestrials, but keep this fact from the public.
  4. The spread of certain viruses and/or diseases is the result of the deliberate, concealed efforts of some organization.
  5. Groups of scientists manipulate, fabricate, or suppress evidence in order to deceive the public.
  6. The government permits or perpetrates acts of terrorism on its own soil, disguising its involvement.
  7. A small, secret group of people is responsible for making all major decisions, such as going to war.
  8. Evidence of alien contact is being concealed from the public.
  9. Technology with mind-control capacities is used on people without their knowledge.
  10. New and advanced technology which would harm current industry is being suppressed.
  11. The government uses people as patsies to hide its involvement in criminal activity.
  12. Certain significant events have been the result of the activity of a small group who secretly manipulate world events.
  13. Some UFO sightings and rumours are planned or staged in order to distract the public from real alien contact.
  14. Experiments involving new drugs or technologies are routinely carried out on the public without their knowledge or consent.
  15. A lot of important information is deliberately concealed from the public out of self-interest.

Each answer has a five point possible response
  1. Disagree
  2. Somewhat disagree
  3. Neutral
  4. Somewhat agree
  5. Agree

An online version of the test is found here. If you want to take it then please do before reading more of this thread.

http://personality-testing.info/tests/GCBS/
(You will need to click on the "Start" button)

After taking it, post your results (at least the average) in the thread below.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the test is somewhat flawed in that some of the questions are ambiguous, and there's not enough resoution in a five point scale to express very slight agreement with things.

My average score was 1.67/5, with a more detailed breakdown:

A score of 1/5 is the lowest possible score (meaning you disagree with all the statements). I only got that regarding the ET coverup.

My highest score (3, neutral) was from "Control of information" which is where I think the questions are a bit ambiguous. For example: "A lot of important information is deliberately concealed from the public out of self-interest." - by who? Obviously people conceal information. Corporations and business do. What is "important information"?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
For example: "A lot of important information is deliberately concealed from the public out of self-interest." - by who? Obviously people conceal information. Corporations and business do. What is "important information"?
I took this question to mean by 'the government'. but I didn't know what 'a lot' meant. :)

and my alien thing being 2.33 is because if "I don't know", then I put 3 for neutral.
And the green dot.. I wasn't thinking "malevolent global conspiracies", I was thinking lobbyists and/or politicians trying to save their bums.. like everyone does from time to time.
 

Ph_

Closed Account
A lot can be answered positive without actually believing in modern conspiracy theories.
I don't believe the questions and assesments are representative.

5. Groups of scientists manipulate, fabricate, or suppress evidence in order to deceive the public

Have a look at the work that christian scientists produce in order to support their theory.
Same with the smoking lobby.

9. Technology with mind-control capacities is used on people without their knowledge.

See here the brainwashing of US prisoners in the Korean war by chinese when they were inventing it.
Also see the psycho analytic methods used in making commercials from the 1920 onwards. (Adam Curtis, The century of the self documentary)

10. New and advanced technology which would harm current industry is being suppressed.

Just look at car development keeping it away from hydrogen/electric.

15. A lot of important information is deliberately concealed from the public out of self-interest.

Something most people do almost every day, self preservation is coded in our DNA.

I don't believe the questions and assesments are representative of modern conspiracy alignment.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Have a look at the work that christian scientists produce in order to support their theory.
Same with the smoking lobby.
I don't think 'Christian scientists' are actually scientists. I think it's just a weird name they made up for their 'church'. although I could be wrong I guess.

Just look at car development keeping it away from hydrogen/electric.
I'm not sure that is the case either. If there was money to be made in hydrogen or electric cars, private industry would be making them, imo.

Although I agree with you in general.
 

Ph_

Closed Account
I'm not sure that is the case either. If there was money to be made in hydrogen or electric cars, private industry would be making them, imo.

If you can make more money on combustion cars, why bother with electric ones?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

So the electric cars are far less likely to be sold by existing dealers, and other sales methods are banned by several states.
https://cleantechnica.com/2015/06/05/states-where-tesla-cant-sell-its-cars-have-125-superchargers/
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the point of the scale isn't so much to gain insight into any one individual, but more to get a quick statistic that is, on average, useful for a relatively large group.

So you can take two groups of 500 random people, have one watch A New Pearl Harbor and the other watch Conspiracy Road Trip, and then measure the average GCB of each group to see what the effect is.

Or more likely, just have a large group of people take the GCB survey and in addition take a survey of their personality, socioeconomic status, education, etc. Then see what correlates with a high GCB score. The linked survey does this with an optional extra survey:

20170826-084038-xkc2k.jpg
 

Ph_

Closed Account
I think the point of the scale isn't so much to gain insight into any one individual, but more to get a quick statistic that is, on average, useful for a relatively large group.

The test is still skewed, it pushes well informed intelligent older people higher up the scale labeling them wrongly.
Their test are an example of that.

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00279/full
So they test their 75 item test with the general public, but their 15 item test only with undergraduates or mailing list/forum readers.
That's one sure way to let differences between both groups slip in to skew the results.
I'd rather go for the 75 item test.

Edit:Removed extra empty lines that quoting makes.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So they test their 75 item test with the general public, but their 15 item test only with undergraduates or mailing list/forum readers.
That's one sure way to let differences between both groups slip in to skew the results.

The purpose of study 1 was to create the 15 question test from the 75 question test. The 15 questions (and factor loadings) were chosen so that the GCB result from 15 questions would very closely match the 75 question version.

The remaining three studies were to compare the 15 item results against other scales, like the Belief in conspiracy theories inventory (BCTI) - which ask about specific (rather than generic) conspiracies - often localized (like the 7/7 theory in the UK, or the Smolensk theory in Poland). The intent is to see if the generic scale is a good predictor of the more specific scales. The last study used personality factor scales rather than conspiracy scales.
 

Ph_

Closed Account
Would you agree with the following?

Knowledge of confirmed conspiracies and shady dealings would let you score higher in this test, grouping you with believers in debunked conspiracies and unconfirmed conspiracies like 9/11, contrails etcetera?

Edit:Added:

Nevermind, i think i am not representative of the audience they are testing.

Explaining Enhanced Logical Consistency during Decision Making in Autism
http://www.jneurosci.org/content/28/42/10746.full
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Nevermind, i think i am not representative of the audience they are testing.
I wouldn't worry too much about it. Psychologists always like to think they've got people 'figured out' with these weirdly worded studies. and biased conclusions.
ex: the use of the term "malevolent" here
But you are correct in that one can't really tell the difference between 'paranoia' and 'been around the block'.

Plus they may not consider people 'conspiracy theorists', unless they score like 4 or so. ? I didn't read up on the study, so that is just a guess.
 

Marin B

Active Member
I took the test twice. The 2nd time around I changed a few of my "disagrees" to "neutral" or between disagree and neutral, because while I don't have a belief in the particular assertion, I can't totally discount the possibility of it being true.

Government malfeasance: 1.67 then 2.33.
Extraterrestrial cover-up: 1 both times
Malevolent global conspiracies: 1 then 1.33.
Personal well-being: 1 then 1.33.
Control of information: 2.33 then 3.


Overall score : 1.4 then 1.8.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Interesting, however, I would be a 4.00 out of 5.00. Don't need to take the test. I believe human genetics and history have been manipulated since the time we became Homo sapiens sapiens and probably before that.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Just look at car development keeping it away from hydrogen/electric.
Back in the 70s maybe, but times they are a changing...
https://www.theguardian.com/politic...all-diesel-and-petrol-cars-and-vans-from-2040
In Europe there is a growing serge of public opinion against petrol / diesel powered vehicles, governments are beginning to listen to public opinions and legislate accordingly. As for the motor manufactures, they are now faced with the stark choice of embrace the new clean technology or go out of business. So they are jumping on the bandwagon. This a report about BMW but with most if not all major European car builders it is a similar story
http://www.thedrive.com/sheetmetal/...-electric-cars-after-ev-sales-jump-50-percent
 

Rory

Senior Member.
1.73. I scored pretty high on the "science is hiding stuff from you" section (3.33) - I was also thinking about oil companies/lobbyists, etc vs electric cars.

Also feel the questions are open to a lot of interpretation. For example:
Which government? I'm assuming they mean "the US government" - but not everyone lives in America. They should make this explicit. (I answered according to my assumption - probably would give different answers for US vs other governments.)
Made me wonder whether I should answer the questions based on what I feel is happening now, or what has happened in the past. If I include Tuskegee, that's one answer. If I go by what I feel organisations are doing today, and will do in the near future - seems like the fairest way to measure any group, or any person - that would be another.
As stated, electric cars.
"Significant" to who? I'd like to know how that word was being defined. And what's the difference between "world events" and "events"?
Again, I'd like to know what "a lot" meant - and the same could go for "important": they seem totally subjective terms. Also doesn't say who's doing the concealing, or where. Government? Big business? Nigeria? North Korea?
 
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George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Interesting, however, I would be a 4.00 out of 5.00. Don't need to take the test. I believe human genetics and history have been manipulated since the time we became Homo sapiens sapiens and probably before that.
Well, I went ahead and took the survey. I was very close to what I predicted.

 

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
The Exxon coverup sprang to mind when I hit the question about manipulation
 
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