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A Psychologist Explains Why People Cling to Conspiracy Theories

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Message Al Hirschfield
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  • Conspiracy theories frequently surface during times of uncertainty, and especially in the aftermath of mass shootings or other tragic events.
  • Dr. John Grohol, a psychologist and the founder of Psych Central, says that conspiracy theorists come up with ideas out of thin air to match whatever 'fact' they think is true, and often use paranoia-based beliefs to convince others.
  • He says that these people tend to be uncooperative, distrustful, and socially isolated — which is why believing in a conspiracy theory with strangers on the internet can give them a sense of belonging.
  • 2013_06_260012 conspiracy theory
    2013_06_260012 conspiracy theory
    (Image by Gwydion M. Williams)
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A rapidly aging boy from NJ, with a somewhat radical political bent, and stubbornly persistent anger issues...

The above photo is not of me but of an Indian holy man named Sathya Sai Baba. He is pictured here (in a photo taken in the (more...)
 

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