Publication
Title
Insight in the conspiracist’s mind
Author
Abstract
The motto of the conspiracist, “Do your own research,” may seem ludicrous to scientists. Indeed, it is often dismissed as a mere rhetorical device that conspiracists use to give themselves the semblance of science. In this perspective paper, we explore the information-seeking activities (“research”) that conspiracists do engage in. Drawing on the experimental psychology of aha experiences, we explain how these activities, as well as the epistemic experiences that precede (curiosity) or follow (insight or “aha” experiences) them, may play a crucial role in the appeal and development of conspiracy beliefs. Aha moments have properties that can be exploited by conspiracy theories, such as the potential for false but seemingly grounded conclusions. Finally, we hypothesize that the need for autonomous epistemic agency and discovery is universal but increases as people experience more uncertainty and/or feel epistemically excluded in society, hence linking it to existing literature on explaining conspiracy theories.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Personality and social psychology review. - Beverly Hills, Calif.
Publication
Beverly Hills, Calif. : 2023
ISSN
1088-8683
DOI
10.1177/10888683231203145
Volume/pages
(2023) , p. 1-23
ISI
001073216900001
Pubmed ID
37776304
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Understanding Self-Deception.
Epigenetics, experience and responsibility: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders (NEUROEPIGENETHICS).
A Tale of Two Processes. The dynamic interplay between emotion and cognition when learning from texts.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 18.10.2023
Last edited 02.02.2024
To cite this reference