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Understanding and managing conspiracy beliefs

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Yara Kyrychenko.

While considerable progress has been made in uncovering the motivational processes, contextual consequences, and interventions to reduce beliefs in conspiracy theories, certain areas of concern remain unclear. First, recent academic debates have centred around the exact nature of different measures of conspiracy beliefs (e.g., conspiracy mentality vs. belief in specific conspiracy theories). Regardless, what these measures fail to capture are the underlying components that make up a “conspiracist worldview”, alongside the potentially distinct implications of these different ontological processes. To understand this, I discuss our ongoing work on developing a scale that aims to capture a propensity to perceive the world in conspiracist terms. Second, inoculation or “pre-bunking” interventions have proven effective at reducing general misinformation susceptibility and acceptance of conspiracy narratives. However, less is known about the efficacy of these interventions among the specific population of interest; that is, actual “conspiracy theorists”. To explain how interventions might be extended to manage this issue, I will present promising recent evidence from our pre-bunking interventions that are specifically tailored to appeal to those already susceptible to conspiracy narratives. Finally, I will summarise and discuss other potential extensions of pre-bunking interventions to improve their efficacy specifically among “conspiracy theorist” communities.

Teams Meeting ID: 329 287 585 675  Passcode: yKwfhf

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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