If you’ve also heard many people saying that the COVID pandemic is just a hoax, that the vaccine is just a tool for enslaving the world, or that Bill Gates has invented the virus, welcome to the club! We’ve all heard those amusing conspiracy theories.
Researchers from Ohio State University wanted to find out more about how some people embrace such conspiracy theories. According to their new study, which was published in PLOS ONE, let’s just say that COVID-related conspiracies can become addicting, as they can lead to the person believing in other conspiracies as well. The study seems to be pretty reliable, as it was based, in fact, on two longitudinal studies that tracked the beliefs of participants in some theories.
Don’t mistrust expertise for real-world events
The research in question has found that a lack of trust in expertise over real-world events can rapidly generate a more broad acceptance of theories that are not backed up by evidence, meaning those of ‘conspiracy type.’
Russell Fazio, a psychologist from The Ohio State University, stated:
It’s speculative, but it appears that once people adopt one conspiracy belief, it promotes distrust in institutions more generally – it could be government, science, the media, whatever,
Once you start viewing events through that distrustful lens, it’s very easy to adopt additional conspiracy theories.
People are often irrational and act in accordance with their feelings, and that’s no secret to nobody.
Here’s what Javier Granados Samayoa, another psychologist from The Ohio State University, has to say:
If you read interviews or forums frequented by conspiracy theorists, you see a phenomenon where people tend to go down the rabbit hole after something happens in their life that triggers general interest in conspiracy theories,
With COVID-19, there was this large event that people could not control, so how could they make sense of it? One way is by adhering to conspiracy theories.
Feel free to tell us about the COVID-related conspiracy theory that amused you the most!