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Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: the generic conspiracist beliefs scale.
Front Psychol 2013; 4:279FP

Abstract

The psychology of conspiracy theory beliefs is not yet well understood, although research indicates that there are stable individual differences in conspiracist ideation - individuals' general tendency to engage with conspiracy theories. Researchers have created several short self-report measures of conspiracist ideation. These measures largely consist of items referring to an assortment of prominent conspiracy theories regarding specific real-world events. However, these instruments have not been psychometrically validated, and this assessment approach suffers from practical and theoretical limitations. Therefore, we present the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs (GCB) scale: a novel measure of individual differences in generic conspiracist ideation. The scale was developed and validated across four studies. In Study 1, exploratory factor analysis of a novel 75-item measure of non-event-based conspiracist beliefs identified five conspiracist facets. The 15-item GCB scale was developed to sample from each of these themes. Studies 2, 3, and 4 examined the structure and validity of the GCB, demonstrating internal reliability, content, criterion-related, convergent and discriminant validity, and good test-retest reliability. In sum, this research indicates that the GCB is a psychometrically sound and practically useful measure of conspiracist ideation, and the findings add to our theoretical understanding of conspiracist ideation as a monological belief system unpinned by a relatively small number of generic assumptions about the typicality of conspiratorial activity in the world.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London London, UK.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23734136

Citation

Brotherton, Robert, et al. "Measuring Belief in Conspiracy Theories: the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale." Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 4, 2013, p. 279.
Brotherton R, French CC, Pickering AD. Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: the generic conspiracist beliefs scale. Front Psychol. 2013;4:279.
Brotherton, R., French, C. C., & Pickering, A. D. (2013). Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: the generic conspiracist beliefs scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, p. 279. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00279.
Brotherton R, French CC, Pickering AD. Measuring Belief in Conspiracy Theories: the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale. Front Psychol. 2013;4:279. PubMed PMID: 23734136.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: the generic conspiracist beliefs scale. AU - Brotherton,Robert, AU - French,Christopher C, AU - Pickering,Alan D, Y1 - 2013/05/21/ PY - 2013/02/06/received PY - 2013/05/01/accepted PY - 2013/6/5/entrez PY - 2013/6/5/pubmed PY - 2013/6/5/medline KW - conspiracist ideation KW - conspiracy theories KW - individual differences KW - personality KW - psychometric instrument KW - scale design SP - 279 EP - 279 JF - Frontiers in psychology JO - Front Psychol VL - 4 N2 - The psychology of conspiracy theory beliefs is not yet well understood, although research indicates that there are stable individual differences in conspiracist ideation - individuals' general tendency to engage with conspiracy theories. Researchers have created several short self-report measures of conspiracist ideation. These measures largely consist of items referring to an assortment of prominent conspiracy theories regarding specific real-world events. However, these instruments have not been psychometrically validated, and this assessment approach suffers from practical and theoretical limitations. Therefore, we present the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs (GCB) scale: a novel measure of individual differences in generic conspiracist ideation. The scale was developed and validated across four studies. In Study 1, exploratory factor analysis of a novel 75-item measure of non-event-based conspiracist beliefs identified five conspiracist facets. The 15-item GCB scale was developed to sample from each of these themes. Studies 2, 3, and 4 examined the structure and validity of the GCB, demonstrating internal reliability, content, criterion-related, convergent and discriminant validity, and good test-retest reliability. In sum, this research indicates that the GCB is a psychometrically sound and practically useful measure of conspiracist ideation, and the findings add to our theoretical understanding of conspiracist ideation as a monological belief system unpinned by a relatively small number of generic assumptions about the typicality of conspiratorial activity in the world. SN - 1664-1078 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23734136/Measuring_belief_in_conspiracy_theories:_the_generic_conspiracist_beliefs_scale_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00279 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -