Belief in conspiracy theories and intentions to engage in everyday crime.Br J Soc Psychol 2019; 58(3):534-549BJ
Belief in conspiracy theories is associated with negative outcomes such as political disengagement, prejudice, and environmental inaction. The current studies - one cross-sectional (N = 253) and one experimental (N = 120) - tested the hypothesis that belief in conspiracy theories would increase intentions to engage in everyday crime. Study 1 demonstrated that belief in conspiracy theories predicted everyday crime behaviours when controlling for other known predictors of everyday crime (e.g., Honesty-Humility). Study 2 demonstrated that exposure to conspiracy theories (vs. control) increased intentions to engage in everyday crime in the future, through an increased feeling of anomie. The perception that others have conspired may therefore in some contexts lead to negative action rather than inaction.