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Take part in conspiracy research

category international | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis author Saturday January 21, 2012 17:01author by Rob Brotherton Report this post to the editors

Hi all, I am a PhD researcher with the University of London, conducting research into the psychology of conspiracy theories. I have a short survey online at the moment, for which I am seeking participants. I need as wide a range of people to take part as possible. If you could spare around 15 minutes to fill in the survey I would be hugely appreciative.

For more information and to take part, click this link:


Thanks for your time,


Related Link: http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/apru/conspiracy/
author by Jim Corrblimeypublication date Mon Jan 23, 2012 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am a believer in some of the wilder Conspiracy Theories, like the one that they made up the story about Weapons of Mass Distruction in Iraq...... I know, 'crazy' right! Coming in at number 645 on my list of conspiracies is the belief that our ESRI here in Ireland is just a Government mouthpiece, using it's 'scientific' research to provide proof for whatever the Government policy of the day is. The ESRC which you are working for on this 'survey' would be a sister organisation to our own ESRI


So, no thanks, I don't want to give you an insight into my psychology because ..... well.... lets just say I don't think our governments are working for the general good of our populations and more specifically I seriously doubt they are studying the very people who question their incessant lies to help us. Help demonise us morelike.

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Mon Jan 23, 2012 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. Would it be fair/accurate or correct to say that you are conducting research into the psycholoogy of conspiracy theorists, as opposed to the psychology of conspiracy theories? It may seem like a semantic point, however, I think it is important.
2. Can you let me know the context of your research: what is the title/subject matter of your Phd?
3. Is the model/theory you are using a social one or a therapy-type, individual psychological state-type one?
4. What is your definition-for the purposes of your research-of a conspiracy theory?


author by Rob Brothertonpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2012 16:01author email r.brotherton at gold dot ac dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi there, huge thanks to whomever posted this here for me, and massive thanks to anyone who has filled in the survey.

To respond to the questions above...

1. While I wouldn't say I'm looking at the psychology of 'conspiracy theorists', it is certainly correct to say I'm looking at people's beliefs rather than at conspiracy theories themselves. My work has no implications for the objective truth of any particular claim of conspiracy, nor is it intended to. Rather I'm interested in how people come to hold the beliefs that they do, whether it is believing a conspiracy or disbelieving a conspiracy.

2. My entire PhD is concerned with belief (and disbelief) in conspiracies

3. My research methods are based in experimental psychology - experimental in the sense that I conduct empirical research, as opposed to offering therapy. I'm look for general trends in the population, rather than examining individuals.

4. The definition of conspiracy theory is a complex issue! The short answer is 'the assumption of conspiracy when other explanations are more probable'. If you have 25 minutes to spare you can listen to me speak about defining conspiracy theory in much greater depth here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6s_Jw3RU9g

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