Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Conspiratorial thinking is widespread throughout the world, though the major social sciences have thus far chosen not to study them for a variety of reasons. This study attempts to understand what, in fact, makes individuals believe in conspiracy theories. Using aspects of terror management theory, Kruglanski's theory of lay epistemology, participants' political worldviews, and conspiracy type, this paper will explore what triggers conspiracy-prone individuals to see the world the way they do. It is anticipated that individuals who have thoughts of their death primed in their consciousness will structure the world more rigidly, cling to their worldviews and respond to information in a manner which will leave them susceptible to believing conspiracies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Psychology Commons

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