Monday, October 24, 2016

Most Believe in (at least one) Conspiracy Theory

Most Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory, according to Chapman University's 2016 Survey of American Fears. When respondents were asked whether they believe the government is concealing what it knows about the 9/11 attacks, the JFK assassination, the existence of extraterrestrials, global warming, plans for a one world government, Obama's birth certificate, the origins of the AIDs virus, the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, or the moon landing, a stunning 74 percent of the public believes there's a government cover up of at least one of them. Only 26 percent do not believe in any of the nine proffered theories.

The most popular conspiracy theory—believed by the 54 percent majority of the public—is a government cover up of what really happened in the 9/11 attacks. Least popular among the nine is a cover up of what really happened in the moon landing, believed by "only" 24 percent. Those most likely to believe in conspiracy theories, say the researchers, are Republicans who are employed and have relatively low incomes and levels of education.

"The tendency to believe in conspiracies is related to a host of beliefs and behavior," the researchers report. "Conspiracy theorists tend to be more pessimistic about the near future, more fearful of government, less trusting of other people in their lives and more likely to engage in actions due to their fears, such as purchasing a gun."

Source: Chapman University, Chapman University Survey of American Fears, What Aren't They Telling Us?

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