Why Do People Embrace Conspiracy Theories?
American officials are still working to find out the identities of those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
It appears that many were believers in a conspiracy theory. It said that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election, but was cheated because of widespread election wrongdoing.
Conspiracy theories often depend on seeing things only in terms of right and wrong. They can push people to do things they might never have thought of doing before, said Peter Ditto. He is a professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine.
"Moralizing things mobilizes people to action. If I believed that the American election had been stolen from the rightful winner, I'd probably storm the Capitol, too. It makes perfect sense if that really happened. The problem is, that didn't happen."
The people most likely to accept conspiracy theories are those who rarely question things. They often show narcissistic behavior, such as a belief in their own importance, a deep need for attention, problems with their relationships, and a lack of sympathy for other people's problems. Those ideas come from research published in the Journal of Personality. The research was done by Emory University in the American state of Georgia.
Nika Kabiri is an expert on human decision-making. She is with the University of Washington in Seattle. She said everyone can be pulled into conspiracy theories although some far more than others.
"We all hate uncertainty. We all don't like the idea of not knowing why things happen. It makes us feel like we don't have control in the world. We want closure," she said.
A conspiracy theory is a way of thinking that blames or explains an important event on a secret plot that is usually undertaken by powerful people. Conspiracy thinking can also accept the idea that a big secret is being kept from the public.
When a famous person repeats a conspiracy theory, Kabiri says, it gets a lot of attention.
People are already unhappy, she says. "There's something they want to do, perhaps, explain something that doesn't sit well with them, and the story gives them an answer," she added.
Times of difficulty, such as a widespread health crisis, can add to the spread of conspiracy theories, Ditto said. "When the world seems confusing and incomprehensible, which it does right now. When people are lonely and they're seeking connection with others," Ditto explained.
People often accept conspiracy theories because they cannot accept simple explanations for life-changing events, said Ditto.
A major conspiracy about the September 11, 2001 terror attacks says that the Twin Towers in New York fell in a controlled bombing. It denies that plane crashes caused the collapse.
Many Americans find it hard to believe that President John F. Kennedy was killed by one gunman. That is why so many believe the unproven idea that there must have been a larger conspiracy to murder the president.
The Emory researchers found that the people most likely to accept conspiracy thinking are often less agreeable and less conscientious. They usually also are unhappy combined with the unrealistic idea that they were made for greatness. And, they are influenced by those around them, either on social media or in real life, said Kabiri.
Ditto said a million years of evolution pushes people to join groups with like-minded people.
"We're very tribal. We're very provably attached to people who are like us. It's very, very unusual to have a place where you're supposed to make friends with, and connect with, and cooperate with, people who don't look like you and don't have the same values," Ditto said.
I'm Susan Shand.
I don't own anything of any value.
He claimed that it was all a conspiracy against him.
The country was torn apart by fierce tribal hostilities.
In theory, these machines should last for ten years or more.
5.American officials are still working to find out the identities of those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
find out 发现；查明
I'll find out and get back to you.
If there has been any funny business , we'll soon find out.
6.And, they are influenced by those around them, either on social media or in real life, said Kabiri.
social media 社交媒体
Social media has become a platform for advertisements.
I post a lot on social media anyway.
阴谋论往往只从对与错的角度来看待问题。彼得·迪托（Peter Ditto）表示，阴谋论能促使人们去做一些从未想过要做的事情 。迪托是加州大学欧文分校的心理学教授 。
迪托表示：“道德说教动员人们采取行动。如果我相信美国大选从合法的赢家那里被窃取了，我可能也会袭击国会大厦 。如果这事确实发生了，那就可以说的通了 。问题是根本就没发生 。”
最容易接受阴谋论的是很少质疑事物的人群。他们通常表现出自恋行为，例如相信自身的重要性，迫切需要关注，人际关系存在问题，对他人的问题缺乏同情 。这些观点出自于发表在《人格》杂志上的研究 。该研究是由美国佐治亚州埃默里大学完成的 。
妮佳·卡比里（Nika Kabiri）是人类决策专家。她在西雅图的华盛顿大学就职 。她指出，每个人都可能会被卷入阴谋论，尽管部分人权的频率远多于其他人群 。
她说；“我们都反感不确定性。我们都讨厌蒙在鼓里 。这导致我们感觉自己对于这个世界失去了掌控权 。我们需要一个说法 。”
迪托表示，困难时期也会加速阴谋论的传播，比如一场普遍的健康危机。迪托表示：“当世界似乎变得令人困惑和难以理解时，就像现在这样 。当人们感到孤独时，他们开始寻求与他人的联系 。”
埃默里大学的研究人员发现，最容易接受阴谋思维的人们往往不太随和以及不认真。卡比里表示，他们通常也不幸地结合了他们是为伟大而生的这种不切实际的想法 。而且，无论是在社交媒体还是在现实生活中，他们都容易受到周围人的影响 。
迪托表示：“我们非常部落化。事实证明我们对同类人非常依恋 。很少有地方认为我们应该与不一类的以及具有不同价值观的人交友、联络和合作 。”