Thursday, April 27, 2017

Conspiracy Theorists May Really Just Be Lonely

People prone to believing in elaborate cover-ups could just be seeking more meaning in life
By Matthew Hutson | SA Mind May 2017 Issue

Conspiracy theorists are often portrayed as nutjobs, but some may just be lonely, recent studies suggest. Separate research has shown that social exclusion creates a feeling of meaninglessness and that the search for meaning leads people to perceive patterns in randomness. A new study in the March issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology connects the dots, reporting that ostracism enhances superstition and belief in conspiracies.


“People think of conspiracy theorists as these weirdos,” says psychologist Alin Coman of Princeton University, the paper's senior author, but even college students at a prestigious university can harbor these views. Coman adds, “Anybody could become entrenched in that kind of thinking if the right circumstances arise.”

This article was originally published with the title "A Conspiracy of Loneliness"

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