New study proves 'conspiracy theorists' r sane but government dupes r crazy & hostile | INFJ Forum

New study proves 'conspiracy theorists' r sane but government dupes r crazy & hostile

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by muir, Jul 22, 2013.

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  1. muir

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    http://therebel.org/index.php?optio...crazy-hostile&catid=83:resistance&Itemid=1198

    Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled “conspiracy theorists” appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events.
    The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled “What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

    The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

    Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: “The research… showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals.”

    Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 - a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan - was indisputably true. The so-called conspiracists, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: “For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account.”

    In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist - a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory - accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

    Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists. It also found that the so-called conspiracists to not like to be called “conspiracists” or “conspiracy theorists.”

    Both of these findings are amplified in the new book Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, published earlier this year by the University of Texas Press. Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don’t like being called “conspiracy theorists”: The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.”

    In other words, people who use the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” as an insult are doing so as the result of a well-documented, undisputed, historically-real conspiracy by the CIA to cover up the JFK assassination. That campaign, by the way, was completely illegal, and the CIA officers involved were criminals; the CIA is barred from all domestic activities, yet routinely breaks the law to conduct domestic operations ranging from propaganda to assassinations.

    DeHaven-Smith also explains why those who doubt official explanations of high crimes are eager to discuss historical context. He points out that a very large number of conspiracy claims have turned out to be true, and that there appear to be strong relationships between many as-yet-unsolved “state crimes against democracy.” An obvious example is the link between the JFK and RFK assassinations, which both paved the way for presidencies that continued the Vietnam War. According to DeHaven-Smith, we should always discuss the “Kennedy assassinations” in the plural, because the two killings appear to have been aspects of the same larger crime.



    Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.

    In the same issue of ABS, University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong “confirmation bias” - that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the “conspiracy theory” label) to avoid conflicting information.

    The extreme irrationality of those who attack “conspiracy theories” has been ably exposed by Communications professors Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State University. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article entitled “Dangerous Machinery: ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion,” they wrote:
    “If I call you a conspiracy theorist, it matters little whether you have actually claimed that a conspiracy exists or whether you have simply raised an issue that I would rather avoid… By labeling you, I strategically exclude you from the sphere where public speech, debate, and conflict occur.”​
    But now, thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA’s 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the “conspiracy theory” smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous - and more rational - than anti-conspiracy ones.

    No wonder the anti-conspiracy people are sounding more and more like a bunch of hostile, paranoid cranks.
    - See more at: http://therebel.org/index.php?optio...3:resistance&Itemid=1198#sthash.F1T9zova.dpuf
     
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  2. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    The study you cite was obviously applying the category "conspiracy theorist" arbitrarily to a statistical group that would have been described more accurately as "able to question information presented as accurate".

    Conspiracy theorists, as more commonly described, are those individuals that experience paranoia and consciously pursue explanations to justify their paranoia by proposing an omnipresent influence of malign intent towards human populations.


    Depending on the degree of paranoia, it seems that some individuals will seek more, or less, extent of justification for their paranoia. In more pronounced cases, it seems that some individuals will propose intentional danger, deliberately arranged by others, in every aspect of their daily lives. For example: the water they drink, the air they breathe, the food they eat, the media they read/hear/watch, the opinions of the people they have contact with, their financial/legal interests, the architecture of their buildings/cities/countries, the weather, geological events (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.), the material in their clothes, medical help and medicines, modes of transportation, history, art, fashion, sporting events/activities, etc. etc.

    While such paranoia may not absolutely disable normal functioning, it is socially disruptive; ie. annoying.
     
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  3. Stu

    Stu Town Drunkard
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    I posted their entire paper here
     
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    #3 Stu, Jul 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  4. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I will not speak about who is right or wrong.

    I will say that there is bias on both sides. Non conspiracy theorists are biased against conspiracy theorists because of the conspiracy stigma. Conspiracy theorists are biased against non conspiracy theorists due to the stigma, a sense of being persecuted (often valid), and a sense of being shushed (also valid).

    Conspiracy theorists also have a tendency for being vocal, repetitive, and extremely persistent, especially when this is unwelcome, as they see this as persecution which may cause them to be even more recalcitrant, which causes people to be more annoyed by them and persecute them further.

    The actual truth hardly gets out anywhere due to one fighting against their conception of the other, and vice versa.
     
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  5. SealHammer

    SealHammer Flying Quesadilla

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    You literally just said that people are biased against conspiracy theorists and followed it up with the reason that conspiracy theorists are disliked. Now, given that a bias is a predisposition or prejudice to something, and seeing as the defining aspect of the average person's dislike for most conspiracy theorists lies in their loud, repugnant, paranoid personalities, wouldn't it be more appropriate to say that they have a bias (totally understandably) against loud, repugnant paranoiacs, rather than conspiracy theorists specifically?

    [MENTION=862]Flavus Aquila[/MENTION] touched on that peripherally in his post.
     
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  6. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    That plus the stigma of conspiracy theories.

    As mentioned earlier at times it only takes mere mention of conspiracy theory for somebody to throw everything out. So it's both general and specific. It's also irrelevant to what may or may not be factual and can be what is called genetic falacy - related to ad hominem, but rather than attacking the source instead of the argument, the opponent discards the argument because of the source.
     
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  7. SealHammer

    SealHammer Flying Quesadilla

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    Yeah, that's all true, but none of that is prejudice, merely ignorance.
     
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  8. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Yeah. I've learned to simply not engage because I know that a lot of people aren't truly malicious. A lot of times people are just bothered and caught up.
     
  9. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    There is also something somewhat hypocritical about many conspiracy theorists' position.

    Once you have been given the full brief by an avid contheorist (HARRP, chemtrails, fluoride, etc.) you have basically heard it all. Any further elucidation is always just elaboration, or more minutiae backing up what they believe.

    The hypocrisy arises in the absolute assertion of their interpretation of events/phenomena and motives 'behind the scenes'. Qualitatively, there is little difference between how most contheorists represent events and how they CLAIM that media and government represent events. Their evidence is tenuous and interpreted arbitrarily in an un-evenhanded way; and presented condescendingly as though the vast majority of people were too stupid to understand what is going on correctly. They claim that most people do not realise they are being lied to and manipulated by powerful people, but this always comes across as whining that people do not accept their theories as true, nor do people allow themselves to be influenced by their theories. One gets the sense that many avid conspiracy theorists resent that they do not have much power, or influence over the opinions, or lives of others.
     
  10. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Yes and in the end the reader doesn't really know anything. Except both sides trying to point out how the other has wrong facts while casting things very emotively, so that the feeling of outrage or injustice snatches the attention of the reader before a more detached sense and reason can kick in.
     
  11. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    True. Despite claims,conspiracy theories seldom seem to be about the facts, or the truth.
    They are more often about indirectly overturning, changing, and rebelling.
     
  12. just me

    just me Listening and waiting.

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    May be true with "some" people, but we can assure you it is not a truth for everyone; maybe, not even most people. The unwelcome could be a sign of denial, as well.
     
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  13. just me

    just me Listening and waiting.

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    Pattern recognition: we may see something rather ambient to us, if I may use this word, while someone else can almost tell why. Everything we see may be different to our perceptions. Certainly, some people know rather than think, as they have been somewhat "there" in the past. Recognition of certain elements is used by detectives many times over, but they are experienced and actually looking for patterns sometimes because of a person known to be involved with such in the past is present. We may visualize the entire scenario, though it does not make one a conspiracy theorist. In time, they will either prove or disprove their own analysis.

    Then, there comes a young man in his twenties riding through ongoing traffic as if the cars were not there. Someone may slam on their brakes, not expecting such. All the young man sees is himself and his music he is playing. He is unsuspecting of the rest.
     
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