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The social consequences of conspiracism: Exposure to conspiracy theories decreases intentions to engage in politics and to reduce one's carbon footprint.
Br J Psychol 2014; 105(1):35-56BJ

Abstract

The current studies explored the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories. In Study 1, participants were exposed to a range of conspiracy theories concerning government involvement in significant events such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting conspiracy theories reduced participants' intentions to engage in politics, relative to participants who were given information refuting conspiracy theories. This effect was mediated by feelings of political powerlessness. In Study 2, participants were exposed to conspiracy theories concerning the issue of climate change. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting the conspiracy theories reduced participants' intentions to reduce their carbon footprint, relative to participants who were given refuting information, or those in a control condition. This effect was mediated by powerlessness with respect to climate change, uncertainty, and disillusionment. Exposure to climate change conspiracy theories also influenced political intentions, an effect mediated by political powerlessness. The current findings suggest that conspiracy theories may have potentially significant social consequences, and highlight the need for further research on the social psychology of conspiracism.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24387095

Citation

Jolley, Daniel, and Karen M. Douglas. "The Social Consequences of Conspiracism: Exposure to Conspiracy Theories Decreases Intentions to Engage in Politics and to Reduce One's Carbon Footprint." British Journal of Psychology (London, England : 1953), vol. 105, no. 1, 2014, pp. 35-56.
Jolley D, Douglas KM. The social consequences of conspiracism: Exposure to conspiracy theories decreases intentions to engage in politics and to reduce one's carbon footprint. Br J Psychol. 2014;105(1):35-56.
Jolley, D., & Douglas, K. M. (2014). The social consequences of conspiracism: Exposure to conspiracy theories decreases intentions to engage in politics and to reduce one's carbon footprint. British Journal of Psychology (London, England : 1953), 105(1), pp. 35-56. doi:10.1111/bjop.12018.
Jolley D, Douglas KM. The Social Consequences of Conspiracism: Exposure to Conspiracy Theories Decreases Intentions to Engage in Politics and to Reduce One's Carbon Footprint. Br J Psychol. 2014;105(1):35-56. PubMed PMID: 24387095.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The social consequences of conspiracism: Exposure to conspiracy theories decreases intentions to engage in politics and to reduce one's carbon footprint. AU - Jolley,Daniel, AU - Douglas,Karen M, Y1 - 2013/01/04/ PY - 2012/07/30/received PY - 2012/10/23/revised PY - 2012/10/23/accepted PY - 2014/1/7/entrez PY - 2014/1/7/pubmed PY - 2014/8/19/medline SP - 35 EP - 56 JF - British journal of psychology (London, England : 1953) JO - Br J Psychol VL - 105 IS - 1 N2 - The current studies explored the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories. In Study 1, participants were exposed to a range of conspiracy theories concerning government involvement in significant events such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting conspiracy theories reduced participants' intentions to engage in politics, relative to participants who were given information refuting conspiracy theories. This effect was mediated by feelings of political powerlessness. In Study 2, participants were exposed to conspiracy theories concerning the issue of climate change. Results revealed that exposure to information supporting the conspiracy theories reduced participants' intentions to reduce their carbon footprint, relative to participants who were given refuting information, or those in a control condition. This effect was mediated by powerlessness with respect to climate change, uncertainty, and disillusionment. Exposure to climate change conspiracy theories also influenced political intentions, an effect mediated by political powerlessness. The current findings suggest that conspiracy theories may have potentially significant social consequences, and highlight the need for further research on the social psychology of conspiracism. SN - 2044-8295 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24387095/The_social_consequences_of_conspiracism:_Exposure_to_conspiracy_theories_decreases_intentions_to_engage_in_politics_and_to_reduce_one's_carbon_footprint_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12018 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -