Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




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

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