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Origins of and solutions for conspiracy beliefs

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  • UserDolores Albarracín (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • ClockWednesday 12 May 2021, 16:00-17:00
  • Housevia zoom .

If you have a question about this talk, please contact David Young.

In this talk, I present a model of conspiracy beliefs. This model is useful to consider conspiracy theories in any domain and integrates disparate social, political, and psychological predictors that have been linked to conspiracy beliefs. In addition, the model identifies media and recipient fear as key to explaining why conspiracy beliefs are socially shared and how they emerge. I present data from five surveys, the first three (Surveys 1–3) about political and medical beliefs and the last two (Surveys 4–5) about the notion that a deep state undermines the success of President Donald Trump. Survey 5 was fielded during the first trial of impeachment of Donald J. Trump in 2019-2020. I then turn to two commonly proposed but actually opposing solutions to correct conspiracy beliefs: Inducing trust and increasing critical evaluation. I present four experiments that compare the efficacy of these solutions to reduce the impact of pseudoscientific messages concerning a virus ostensibly created as a bioweapon (Experiments 1-2) and genetically modified organisms (Experiments 3-4).

Dolores Albarracin is a Professor of Psychology, Business, and Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Zoom link available here:

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

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