thedailybell.com / By Staff Report / January 25, 2013
Exposure to conspiracy theories has dramatic consequences … The school massacre in Newtown was a hoax designed to bolster government gun control. The destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was the result of a controlled demolition. Elvis faked his own death. For every major event, there’s a conspiracy theory to explain it. And though the temptation is to treat it as harmless paranoia, a new study finds mere exposure to information-seeking can have serious social consequences. Researchers from the University of Kent. In the UK found that simply reading a conspiracy theory Increased people’s feelings of powerlessness, Which ultimately reduced their desire to engage politically And this effect occurred even when the information was not directly related to government. - Vancouver Sun
Dominant Social Theme: It is time to stop all of this confusion and doubting. Democracy works. Our leaders are wise. Our society is good.
Free-Market Analysis: Wow. Memes are flying like a cloud of malicious monkeys over the Wicked Witch’s castle western. Every time we look up we’re assaulted. We can hardly catch our collective breath.
And then there is this from the Vancouver Sun …
Exposure to pro-conspiracy material on climate change , for example, not only made people less motivated to reduce their carbon footprint, it also not negatively affected their interest in voting.
“When you’re exposed to a conspiracy – say, that the government is involved in secret plots – it can make you feel as though your actions will not make a difference,” said doctoral student Daniel Jolley, the study’s co-author. ”(It) appears to trigger a conspiratorial mindset.”
The research, published in the British Journal of Psychology, is the first to experimentally demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between conspiracy theories and feelings of powerlessness. And this reduced sense of agency appears to weaken interest in democratic participation.