The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories  book cover
1st Edition

The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

ISBN 9781138696105
Published April 23, 2018 by Routledge
118 Pages

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Book Description

Who believes in conspiracy theories, and why are some people more susceptible to them than others?

What are the consequences of such beliefs?

Has a conspiracy theory ever turned out to be true?

The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories debunks the myth that conspiracy theories are a modern phenomenon, exploring their broad social contexts, from politics to the workplace. The book explains why some people are more susceptible to these beliefs than others and how they are produced by recognizable and predictable psychological processes.

Featuring examples such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and climate change, The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories shows us that while such beliefs are not always irrational and are not a pathological trait, they can be harmful to individuals and society.

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1 –Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

    Chapter 2 – When do People Believe Conspiracy Theories?

    Chapter 3 – The Architecture of Belief

    Chapter 4 – The Social Roots of Conspiracy Theories

    Chapter 5 – Conspiracy Theories and Ideology

    Chapter 6 – Explaining and Reducing Conspiracy Theories

    Further Reading



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Jan-Willem van Prooijen is an Associate Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at VU Amsterdam, and Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement.