Researchers identify personality profiles of conspiracy theorists

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Of course they say that.


Lonely, bitter, angry losers dissatisfied with their lives. If they weren’t so destructive I’d feel sorry for them.


I would’ve guessed ‘people still angry at finding out the Easter Bunny isn’t real.’

Also: morons.


Here’s my controversial question to the conspiracy theorist researchers: As you’re scribbling the personal profile Venn diagrams on your white-boards, what’s the overlap between those who glom onto conspiracy theories and those who willing accept that there’s an all-knowing sky dude who created everything (and cares if your sports-team wins)?


there might not be as much overlap as you expect. i grew up in a conservative, protestant church but they would occasionlly hve guest speakers warning us to be on the lookout for people trying to sell us on complicated systems of belief that went far beyond the plain meaning of the words of the bible. they specifically warned us off of consipiracy theories like the illuminati or the bilderbergers as well as complicated add-ons to theology like the whole rapture system.


As stock photo art goes, the preview image on this is terrific. Great blend of Pastafarian and Illuminati symbols, ha.


The whole thing with “personality disorders” is that they are NOT mental illnesses. As well, they are purely matters of differences in degree, not kind-- every trait exhibited by those with “personality disorders” is also exhibited by “normal” people, just less so, or less frequently, or with countervailing behaviours.

In fact, the only place “Cluster B” disorders actually cluster is in the DSM; it is far from clear that they are related to each other in any physiological way. And diagnosis is very subjective indeed; one psychiatrist’s narcissist is another doc’s rock star.


Yeah, anyone whose standard behaviour disturbs or pisses off more than 90% of everyone else has a personality disorder. I have spoken. :wink:




I mean, “solitary, anxious figure, moody and detached, perhaps including many who are older and living alone” describes me pretty well but I am also loving, peaceful, rational and not a fucking idiot.


OTOH, and completely anecdotal, I also grew up conservative and Protestant and not only were conspiracy theories readily peddled by the churchgoers, they were actively distributed by the church. I mean this quite literally. Every Sunday they would print off tracts and hand them out. This also included consumer boycotts (The Last Temptation of Christ and… Pace Picante Sauce?) and political calls to action (Planned Parenthood protests, etc). Much of this came from Focus on the Family (Dobson) and other such luminous intellectuals as Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Fallwell.

My church was closely affiliated with around 100 other churches of different denominations and independents and this was common to all of them. My family still owns a Christian summer camp where kids are indoctrinated with such truths as “condoms fail 20% of the time” and “liberals pierce them with pins, anyway” and “the Jews run everything”.

There is a massive overlap with evangelical Christianity and the obtuse, belligerent anti-science crowd. Some of this has to do with susceptibility, some with exposure and some is just plain old fear. A fear-based worldview hides monsters around every corner.


the main point to my reply, and keep in my mind i went agnostic 45 years ago and haven’t gone back, was that the venn diagram is not a single circle. even in the world of conservative protestantism there’s always been pushback against conspiracy theories as part of the mix.


I’m starting a conspiracy theory that I’m secretly in charge of everything.

Show some damn self esteem people!


I hadn’t realised that was secret. Oops.


I hope that you’re right. Unfortunately, the version I grew up in wholly embraced them. In my grandfather’s church, an old vet would get up nearly every Sunday and rant about the conspiracy theory du jour and how, if we weren’t vigilant, “the USA would become the USSR!!!”

For some cursed reason, I have visited hundreds of churches, Christian camps, bible colleges, revivals and every other wackadoo assemblage you can imagine and the only ones that weren’t bugshit crazy were the Jehova’s Witnesses (seriously, they have some fucked up control issues, but they’re one of the few groups that actually behave like actual Christians).

Having said all of that, I have to qualify it by saying that this was the rural Midwest. There’s a deep layer of batshit ignorance out there.


And now the President is Putin’s puppet. Guess we done fucked up.


Seeing how many online atheists have succumbed to conspiracy theories, I would expect religiousness to be a trait orthogonal to gullibility to conspiracy-mongering.


Here’s one of the well-known markers that started getting noticed around 2015-2016ish: they have faux orange faces, extremely bad hair, and think every article that casts them in a negative light is fake.


I seem to recall an article on BoingBoing from a year or so ago, reporting that a person was more likely to believe in conspiracy theories (or maybe be more receptive to conspiracy theories), if they thought of themselves as “unique” or “non-conforming”. I’ll edit my post with a link if I can track it down.