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, 39 (3). pp. 499-520. ISSN 0261-510X

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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: Funding information: This work was supported by the British Academy [Grant Number: SRG18R1\180086]. We wish to thank Emma Davies, Leanne Johnson, and Lorna Sykes for participation in the Teacher Panel. We also thank the schools and participants who were involved in this research.
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 Aug 2021 07:47
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45256

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