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Unpacking the relationship between religiosity and conspiracy beliefs in Australia.
Br J Soc Psychol 2019; 58(4):938-954BJ

Abstract

We examined the interrelation between religiosity, anti-intellectualism, and political mistrust in predicting belief in conspiracy theories. Improving on previous psychological research on the link between religiosity and societal and political attitudes, we assessed the predictive power of religious self-categorization and the importance attached to one's own (non)religious worldview predicting belief in conspiracy theories separately. Applying quota sampling in a study in Australia (N = 515), the sample consisted of 48.9% believers (i.e., those who self-categorized as religious persons) and 51.1% non-believers (i.e., those who self-categorized as non-religious persons). The results showed that believers and non-believers did not differ in the belief in conspiracy theories. Unpacking this further though, we did find that the extent to which religious worldviews were endorsed predicted belief in conspiracy theories. Among believers, the importance attached to their religious worldview was directly associated with higher belief in conspiracy theories and this link was partly mediated by higher anti-intellectualism. Political trust, in turn, served as an inhibitor of the link between religiosity and conspiracy beliefs. Among non-believers, there was no direct association between the importance of non-religious worldview and belief in conspiracy theories. However, we found that higher trust in political institutions accounted for the negative association between non-religious worldview and lower belief in conspiracy theories. The results underline the importance of distinguishing religiosity as a self-categorization and religiosity as a worldview. We find that it is not the self-categorization as religious, but the extent to which religious worldviews are endorsed that could predict people's beliefs in conspiracy theories.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Helsinki, Finland.University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30706498

Citation

Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga, and Jolanda Jetten. "Unpacking the Relationship Between Religiosity and Conspiracy Beliefs in Australia." The British Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 58, no. 4, 2019, pp. 938-954.
Jasinskaja-Lahti I, Jetten J. Unpacking the relationship between religiosity and conspiracy beliefs in Australia. Br J Soc Psychol. 2019;58(4):938-954.
Jasinskaja-Lahti, I., & Jetten, J. (2019). Unpacking the relationship between religiosity and conspiracy beliefs in Australia. The British Journal of Social Psychology, 58(4), pp. 938-954. doi:10.1111/bjso.12314.
Jasinskaja-Lahti I, Jetten J. Unpacking the Relationship Between Religiosity and Conspiracy Beliefs in Australia. Br J Soc Psychol. 2019;58(4):938-954. PubMed PMID: 30706498.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Unpacking the relationship between religiosity and conspiracy beliefs in Australia. AU - Jasinskaja-Lahti,Inga, AU - Jetten,Jolanda, Y1 - 2019/02/01/ PY - 2018/08/21/received PY - 2019/01/18/revised PY - 2019/2/2/pubmed PY - 2019/2/2/medline PY - 2019/2/2/entrez KW - anti-intellectualism KW - conspiracy beliefs KW - political trust KW - religiosity SP - 938 EP - 954 JF - The British journal of social psychology JO - Br J Soc Psychol VL - 58 IS - 4 N2 - We examined the interrelation between religiosity, anti-intellectualism, and political mistrust in predicting belief in conspiracy theories. Improving on previous psychological research on the link between religiosity and societal and political attitudes, we assessed the predictive power of religious self-categorization and the importance attached to one's own (non)religious worldview predicting belief in conspiracy theories separately. Applying quota sampling in a study in Australia (N = 515), the sample consisted of 48.9% believers (i.e., those who self-categorized as religious persons) and 51.1% non-believers (i.e., those who self-categorized as non-religious persons). The results showed that believers and non-believers did not differ in the belief in conspiracy theories. Unpacking this further though, we did find that the extent to which religious worldviews were endorsed predicted belief in conspiracy theories. Among believers, the importance attached to their religious worldview was directly associated with higher belief in conspiracy theories and this link was partly mediated by higher anti-intellectualism. Political trust, in turn, served as an inhibitor of the link between religiosity and conspiracy beliefs. Among non-believers, there was no direct association between the importance of non-religious worldview and belief in conspiracy theories. However, we found that higher trust in political institutions accounted for the negative association between non-religious worldview and lower belief in conspiracy theories. The results underline the importance of distinguishing religiosity as a self-categorization and religiosity as a worldview. We find that it is not the self-categorization as religious, but the extent to which religious worldviews are endorsed that could predict people's beliefs in conspiracy theories. SN - 2044-8309 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30706498/Unpacking_the_relationship_between_religiosity_and_conspiracy_beliefs_in_Australia_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12314 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -