Conspiracy Theories

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Tero
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Conspiracy Theories

Post by Tero » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:17 am

I've been talking to antivaxxers, AND so as a spinoff, was led to a list of conspiracy theories
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... s#Medicine

related to medicine.

The rest of the list is interesting too. I'd be interested in any any links explaining the psychological condition that takes you on this journey.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... y_theories
https://esapolitics.blogspot.com

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Audley Strange » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:32 am

There are, as far as I can see, three specific mechanisms in place that cause it. This is from someone who considers themselves a learned person when it comes to conspiracy theories and has some understanding of human psychology, still these are in essence a layperson's view. No links, in short.

It's a feedback loop between Credulity and Apophenia.

The person engaging in a conspiracy theory normally does so when the narrative with which they have been indoctrinated is undermined somehow. Rather than just dismiss it as an odd outlier, they pick away at their belief system, looking to find "what's really going on." They already suspect. All it takes is the right push to send them down the rabbit hole. This usually happens when they find someone touting a different narrative. Since the brain goes out its way to accommodate any belief by reordering your awareness to notice patterns that accommodate any belief, the person "wakes up" so to speak, to a new version of reality which has been hidden. It's all the same as before, just suddenly they see signifiers are everywhere (because of confirmation bias) and become more convinced.
This is why they use the terminology of one who has been enlightened, calling others "sheeple" and claiming to be "awake" etc.
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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Rum » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:40 am

There is also the delusional aspect - i.e. a symptom of some sort of psychosis (schizophrenia most commonly I suspect), and people being convinced by the psychotic person. David Icke is perhaps an example - if he isn't a total con man.

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Audley Strange » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:43 am

Rum wrote:There is also the delusional aspect - i.e. a symptom of some sort of psychosis (schizophrenia most commonly I suspect), and people being convinced by the psychotic person. David Icke is perhaps an example - if he isn't a total con man.
Well yeah paranoid ideation, audition and hallucination can obviously be a major factor in such conspiratorial thinking, but I don't think it safe to include that specifically any more than one would for Cult behaviour or Terror Cell behaviour. I think it too easy a get out to just go "yeah they're nuts."
"What started as a legitimate effort by the townspeople of Salem to identify, capture and kill those who did Satan's bidding quickly deteriorated into a witch hunt" Army Man

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Trinity » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:54 am

Audley Strange wrote:There are, as far as I can see, three specific mechanisms in place that cause it. This is from someone who considers themselves a learned person when it comes to conspiracy theories and has some understanding of human psychology, still these are in essence a layperson's view. No links, in short.

It's a feedback loop between Credulity and Apophenia.

The person engaging in a conspiracy theory normally does so when the narrative with which they have been indoctrinated is undermined somehow. Rather than just dismiss it as an odd outlier, they pick away at their belief system, looking to find "what's really going on." They already suspect. All it takes is the right push to send them down the rabbit hole. This usually happens when they find someone touting a different narrative. Since the brain goes out its way to accommodate any belief by reordering your awareness to notice patterns that accommodate any belief, the person "wakes up" so to speak, to a new version of reality which has been hidden. It's all the same as before, just suddenly they see signifiers are everywhere (because of confirmation bias) and become more convinced.
This is why they use the terminology of one who has been enlightened, calling others "sheeple" and claiming to be "awake" etc.
This.
I worked for a while as a cook at a centre for new age shit and I can't count the amount of times I heard people talk about things they read or saw which signified some sort of secret message that they had to find meaning in.
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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Faithfree » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:56 am

I occasionally go to conspiracy web sites for comedy relief - although the fact that some of these people are totally serious in their beliefs does disturb me a bit.
Although it may look like a forum, this site is actually a crowd-sourced science project modelling the slow but inexorable heat death of the universe.

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Audley Strange » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Oh but it's great fun for a while. As long as you have someone to pull you back out of them, they can be like touring alternative reality theme-parks. The problem is that people are, as you say, totally serious about their beliefs but then again aren't most people?
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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Tyrannical » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:18 pm

Vaccines aren't a 100% safe, and when you vaccinate tens of millions you are bound to have problems.
A rational skeptic should be able to discuss and debate anything, no matter how much they may personally disagree with that point of view. Discussing a subject is not agreeing with it, but understanding it.

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Tero » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:43 pm

Yes, vaccines are quite dirty* as far as drugs go. They are used worldwide and not tested on all populations. Then slight genetic differences lead to more side effects in a few countries.

Medicine in particular is open to wild theory and quackery as treatment. 30 years ago selenium supplements were going to cure cancer.

Foremost quack: dr Mercola. Holistic mumbo jumbo.

*mixtures of proteints, other broken down biomolecules

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Tyrannical » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:58 pm

Let's turn this up to 11, shall we?

There was a collectable card game released in 1994 called Illuminati that was about conspiracy theories. But ever since 9/11 this game became regarded as a Nostradamus like predictor of conspiracies.

Image
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A rational skeptic should be able to discuss and debate anything, no matter how much they may personally disagree with that point of view. Discussing a subject is not agreeing with it, but understanding it.

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Tero » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:09 pm

Cool! A Unitarian minister gave me a Monopoly card once: Get out of hell free.

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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by JimC » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:08 am

There has always been some virtue in developing a model of the world, and sticking to it when things get a little tough.

But, as the ancient Greeks well knew, like all virtues, it turns to tragedy when played beyond its use by date...
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Re: Conspiracy Theories

Post by Tyrannical » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:04 pm

Tero wrote:Cool! A Unitarian minister gave me a Monopoly card once: Get out of hell free.
Those card pics are from 1994, I actually used to collect the game back then.
A rational skeptic should be able to discuss and debate anything, no matter how much they may personally disagree with that point of view. Discussing a subject is not agreeing with it, but understanding it.

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Conspiracy Theorists Have a Fundamental Cognitive Problem

Post by Rum » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:55 pm

This could of course all be a clever diversion...

https://www.inverse.com/article/37463-c ... um=inverse

The world’s a scary, unpredictable place, and that makes your brain mad. As a predictive organ, the brain is on the constant lookout for patterns that both explain the world and help you thrive in it. That ability helps humans make sense of the world. For example, you probably understand by now that if you see red, that means that you should be on the lookout for danger.

But as scientists report in a new paper published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, sometimes people sense danger even when there is no pattern to recognize — and so their brains create their own. This phenomenon, called illusory pattern perception, they write, is what drives people who believe in conspiracy theories, like climate change deniers, 9/11 truthers, and “Pizzagate” believers.

The study is especially timely; recent polls suggest that nearly 50 percent of ordinary, non-pathological Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.
Illusory pattern perception — the act of seeking patterns that aren’t there — has been linked to belief in conspiracy theories before, but that assumption has never really been supported with empirical evidence. The British and Dutch scientists behind the new study are some of the first to show that this explanation is, in fact, correct.

Think the Illuminati run the world? That likely depends on what patterns you see.

The researchers came to this conclusion after conducting five studies on 264 Americans who focused on the relationship between irrational beliefs and illusory pattern perception. Initial studies revealed that the compulsion to find patterns in an observable situation was in fact correlated with irrational beliefs: People who saw patterns in random coin tosses and chaotic, abstract paintings were more likely to believe in conspiratorial and supernatural theories.

The study showed how susceptible people can be to external influences, too. Reading about paranormal or conspiracy beliefs, the researchers report, caused a “slight increase in the perception of patterns in coin tosses, paintings and life,” and reading about one conspiracy theory made people more likely to believe in another one.

“Following a manipulation of belief in one conspiracy theory people saw events in the world as more strongly casually connected, which in turn predicted unrelated irrational beliefs,” write the authors.

I FOUND IT! can anybody give me a hint what was/is in that building? that is shurely the sign of the illuminati / freimaurer there.

Belief in conspiracy theories goes back centuries.

The researchers suggest that irrational beliefs are born from pattern perception because of the “automatic tendency to make sense of the world by identifying meaningful relationships between stimuli.” But distortions can happen, and the brain can connect dots that are actually nonexistent. People are bad at judging what’s random and believe that, often times, patterns are actually coincidences, which leads to irrational connections between unrelated stimuli. For example, just because societal power is dominated by the rich does not mean those rich people are Illuminati Satanists, though that is a thing that many people believe.
Fortunately, other scientists have found a way to block the pervasiveness of illusory pattern perception: critical thinking. In a previous interview, North Carolina State University psychology professor Anne McLaughlin told Inverse that critical thinking is something that can be taught, and if people are trained in the right way, pseudoscience and false conspiracies can be combated with logic and reasoning. The brain may try to make false connections, but that doesn’t mean you have to believe it.

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Re: Conspiracy Theorists Have a Fundamental Cognitive Proble

Post by Clinton Huxley » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:16 pm

Saying "that's exactly what they want you to think" is exactly what you thought someone would say. Or at least, that's what you want us to think. I think.

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