Exposure to conspiracy theories fuels bigoted attitudes


Reading the pro-conspiracy information appeared to increase prejudice in general. Participants who read information supporting conspiracy theories against Jews also showed increases in prejudicial attitudes towards Americans, Arabs, the elderly, poor people, and people on social benefits.

“In our study, we found that exposure to conspiracy theories about different social groups increase prejudice towards that group, which can lead to discrimination. Perhaps most importantly, we also demonstrate how the prejudice-enhancing effects of intergroup conspiracy theories are not limited to the group targeted by the conspiracy but can spread to other, uninvolved groups. These issues are therefore not just highly topical, but of great significance for society,” Jolley told PsyPost.

The findings are in line with previous research, which has found that negative contact with a minority group often results in negative attitudes towards that group — and those attitudes are transferred to other minority groups as well.


Author: betterblokesnz