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Social psychological origins of conspiracy theories: the case of the jewish conspiracy theory in malaysia.
Front Psychol 2012; 3:280FP

Abstract

Two studies examined correlates of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory among Malays in Malaysia, a culture in which state-directed conspiracism as a means of dealing with perceived external and internal threats is widespread. In Study 1, 368 participants from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, completed a novel measure of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory, along with measures of general conspiracist ideation, and anomie. Initial analysis showed that the novel scale factorially reduced to a single dimension. Further analysis showed that belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was only significantly associated with general conspiracist ideation, but the strength of the association was weak. In Study 2, 314 participants completed the measure of belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory, along with measures of general conspiracist ideation, and ideological attitudes. Results showed that belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was associated with anti-Israeli attitudes, modern racism directed at the Chinese, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation. General conspiracist ideation did not emerge as a significant predictor once other variables had been accounted for. These results suggest that there may be specific cultural and social psychological forces that drive belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory within the Malaysian context. Specifically, belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory among Malaysian Malays appears to serve ideological needs and as a mask for anti-Chinese sentiment, which may in turn reaffirm their perceived ability to shape socio-political processes.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Westminster London, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22888323

Citation

Swami, Viren. "Social Psychological Origins of Conspiracy Theories: the Case of the Jewish Conspiracy Theory in Malaysia." Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 3, 2012, p. 280.
Swami V. Social psychological origins of conspiracy theories: the case of the jewish conspiracy theory in malaysia. Front Psychol. 2012;3:280.
Swami, V. (2012). Social psychological origins of conspiracy theories: the case of the jewish conspiracy theory in malaysia. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, p. 280. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00280.
Swami V. Social Psychological Origins of Conspiracy Theories: the Case of the Jewish Conspiracy Theory in Malaysia. Front Psychol. 2012;3:280. PubMed PMID: 22888323.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Social psychological origins of conspiracy theories: the case of the jewish conspiracy theory in malaysia. A1 - Swami,Viren, Y1 - 2012/08/06/ PY - 2012/05/26/received PY - 2012/07/20/accepted PY - 2012/8/14/entrez PY - 2012/8/14/pubmed PY - 2012/8/14/medline KW - Malaysia KW - anti-semitism KW - conspiracy theories KW - modern racism KW - monological belief system SP - 280 EP - 280 JF - Frontiers in psychology JO - Front Psychol VL - 3 N2 - Two studies examined correlates of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory among Malays in Malaysia, a culture in which state-directed conspiracism as a means of dealing with perceived external and internal threats is widespread. In Study 1, 368 participants from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, completed a novel measure of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory, along with measures of general conspiracist ideation, and anomie. Initial analysis showed that the novel scale factorially reduced to a single dimension. Further analysis showed that belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was only significantly associated with general conspiracist ideation, but the strength of the association was weak. In Study 2, 314 participants completed the measure of belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory, along with measures of general conspiracist ideation, and ideological attitudes. Results showed that belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was associated with anti-Israeli attitudes, modern racism directed at the Chinese, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation. General conspiracist ideation did not emerge as a significant predictor once other variables had been accounted for. These results suggest that there may be specific cultural and social psychological forces that drive belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory within the Malaysian context. Specifically, belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory among Malaysian Malays appears to serve ideological needs and as a mask for anti-Chinese sentiment, which may in turn reaffirm their perceived ability to shape socio-political processes. SN - 1664-1078 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22888323/Social_psychological_origins_of_conspiracy_theories:_the_case_of_the_jewish_conspiracy_theory_in_malaysia_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00280 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -