Researchers — psychologists and social scientists, mostly — in the U.S. and United Kingdom say data indicate that, contrary to those mainstream media stereotypes, “conspiracy theorists” appear to be more sane than people who accept official versions of controversial and contested events.
…among people who comment on news articles, those who discount official government accounts of events like the 9/11 attacks and the assassination of John F. Kennedy outnumber believers by more than two-to-one.
It seems the “conventionalists” (the anti-conspiracy folks) were the ones who appeared frustrated and hostile. In my opinion, that’s often a sign that someone has recognized that the world is nothing like they thought it was. In fact, such individuals seem to experience the seven stages of grief, which are denial caused by fear, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, rebirth, and creating a new life. Does that sound familiar?
The Natural News article includes this quote from the book, Conspiracy Theory in America:
The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.
From Veteran’s Today:
Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.
[In Science Daily], University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong “confirmation bias” – that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the “conspiracy theory” label) to avoid conflicting information.
In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist — a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory — accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.
The conclusion from Veterans Today:
…thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA’s 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the “conspiracy theory” smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous – and more rational – than anti-conspiracy ones.
The paper, “What About Building 7?”, can be found here.