Belief in conspiracy theories. The role of paranormal belief, paranoid ideation and schizotypy

Darwin, Hannah, Neave, Nick and Holmes, Joni (2011) Belief in conspiracy theories. The role of paranormal belief, paranoid ideation and schizotypy. Personality and Individual Differences, 50 (8). pp. 1289-1293. ISSN 0191-8869

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Surveys indicate that belief in conspiracy theories is widespread. Previous studies have indicated that such beliefs are related to agreeableness, low levels of self esteem, certain negative attitudes towards authority, and paranoia. The current study investigated the relationship between conspiracy theory beliefs, paranormal belief, paranoid ideation, and schizotypy, in a study involving 60 females and 60 males aged 18–50. Sex differences were found in paranormal belief, with females scoring significantly higher than males in spiritualism, precognition, psi, and overall paranormal belief. Partial correlations controlling for sex showed that conspiracy beliefs were significantly and positively correlated with paranormal beliefs, paranoid ideation and schizotypy. Confirmatory analysis revealed a best fit model to explain conspiracy beliefs that included schizotypy and paranoid ideation, but not paranormal beliefs. These findings suggest that paranoid ideation and schizotypy are strongly associated with belief in conspiracy theories.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conspiracy belief, paranormal belief, paranoid ideation, schizotypy
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2011 15:24
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 16:29

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