Psychology of Conspiracy Theorists

Discussion in 'Conspiracies' started by James R, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. someguy1 Registered Senior Member

    I agree that it's perfectly possible, in theory, that everything happened exactly as described.

    One can still make observations and ask questions about various things. That's perfectly sensible.

    However, even asking questions is dismissed and marginalized under the label of "conspiracy theory." That's a big part of the psychology of conspiracy theories. The fact that rational inquiry is suppressed by being so labelled.

    9/11 is a hot-button issue for every one because the consequences of the government having had anything to do with it are SO horrible to contemplate that most people would rather not think about it. That's psychological too.

    My initial post noted two circumstances under which it's perfectly rational to believe in a conspiracy theory:

    * If there really is a conspiracy. The assassinations of Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln are two prominent instances, but not the only ones.

    * The government is bullshitting the country to lie everyone into a disastrous war. The Gulf of Tonkin and Saddam's WMDs being two instances, but not the only ones.

    Now I would also like to distinguish between two types statements that are both called "conspiracy theories":

    A) The 9/11 commission was underfunded and did not meet the standard of rational inquiry. It was not designed to find out what happened. We should form a second committee, fund it properly, and give it the mission to get to the bottom of 9/11.


    B) Dick Cheney personally ordered the NORAD stand down and the twin towers were brought down by directed energy weapons and the planes were actually holograms.

    It is not rational to assert B because there is no evidence.

    But it IS rational to assert A; and to discuss the many discrepancies and absurdities in the 9/11 commission's official conclusions. It's rational because first, there ARE a lot of discrepancies and divergences from the spirit of rational inquiry. And second, because I'm an American and in my life the government has lied to the country about many important things.

    But if you assert A or B you get called a wackjob conspiracy theorist and people start yelling at you.

    That's part of the psychology. Rationality is not allowed. Simple questions are taken to be attacks on the body politic by crazy people.

    That is the psychology of conspiracy theories. People believe really nutty stuff because frankly they might as well. They'll be ostracized for being rational skeptics or irrational ones. It makes people open to believe anything. The more you suppress rational doubt; the more irrational doubt spreads. The suppression of reasonable inquiry leads people to suspect the worst.

    So is it possible that the government's account is true? Sure. I'd just like to see the evidence. Which they hauled away as fast as they could. That's the kind of thing that makes me suspicious of my government. When they destroy evidence of one of the most massive crimes in history. But yeah. It could have happened the way the government says it did.
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That seems a reasonable stance.
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  5. birch Valued Senior Member


    conspiracies are a constant in life because people are so fallible.
    i'm suspicious of people who are unsuspicious or unaware of the prevalence of conspiracies. it is either they are naive or they are actual participants or perpetrators themselves, trying to make everyone around them think all is as it seems.
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member


    strange that scientists won't or can't stop any of these things. now how rational and logical is the universe again? which part?

    i'm concluding that lifeforms are inherently nuts and gross and that in the future, probably robots and supercomputers that people are afraid will take over and make people obsolete may end up deserving that position.

    how can you really stop it when people procreate and produce more people into society who do this in the next generation after generation?

    either you fix the core genetics itself (oops, god's perfect creation or darwinian evolution?) because of these faults or pure technology based lifeforms take humanity's place.

    because this sure isn't any definition of positive evolution. it's called a mess. this is the problem with technology serving the disgusting and base desires of lifeforms by keeping them alive, extending their lives, adding to their comfort etc for what? for lifeforms to continue to do what? keep predating on eachother for amusement? there is no good point to it.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  8. FatFreddy Registered Senior Member

    Here's some info I just came across.

    Psychologists Say: ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ SANE, and
    Government Dupes CRAZY and Hostile.

    Laurie Manwell, Univ of Guelph; anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing beliefs.

    Univ of Buffalo Prof Steven Hoffman; anti-conspiracy people prone to using irrational mechanisms (such as the “Conspiracy Theory” Label) to avoid personal conflict.

    Extreme irrationality of those who attack “CT's” exposed by Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State Univ. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    How's the cat?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Are we rationalizing today, Freddie?
  11. FatFreddy Registered Senior Member

  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Are there any conspiracy theories you don't believe in? Any at all?
  13. FatFreddy Registered Senior Member

    I don't believe the earth is flat.
  14. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    And here's me thinking you were totally without filters. :blush:

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