Measuring adolescents’ beliefs in conspiracy theories: Development and validation of the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ)

Jolley, Daniel, Douglas, Karen M., Skipper, Yvonne, Thomas, Eleanor and Cookson, Darel (2021) Measuring adolescents’ beliefs in conspiracy theories: Development and validation of the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ). British Journal of Developmental Psychology. ISSN 0261-510X (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12368

Abstract

Four studies (total n = 961) developed and validated the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ). Initial items were developed in collaboration with teachers. An exploratory factor analysis (Study 1, n = 208, aged 11–14) and a student focus group (N = 3, aged 11) enabled us to establish the factor structure of a 9‐item scale. This was replicated via confirmatory factor analysis in Study 2 (N = 178, aged 11–17), and the scale displayed good convergent (i.e., relationship with paranoia and mistrust) and discriminant validity (i.e., no relationship with extraversion). Study 3a (N = 257) further tested convergent validity with a sample of 18‐year‐olds (i.e., relationship with adult‐validated measures of conspiracy beliefs) and demonstrated strong test–retest reliability. Study 3b (N = 318) replicated these findings with a mixed‐age adult sample. The ACBQ will allow researchers to explore the psychological antecedents and consequences of conspiracy thinking in young populations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was supported by the British Academy [Grant Number: SRG18R1\180086].
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conspiracy theories, Conspiracy beliefs, Adolescence, Scale Construction, Validation
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2021 10:11
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2021 09:33
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45256

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