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Individual difference factors and beliefs in medical and political conspiracy theories

Galliford, N; Furnham, A; (2017) Individual difference factors and beliefs in medical and political conspiracy theories. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology , 58 (5) pp. 422-428. 10.1111/sjop.12382. Green open access

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Abstract

This study examined the relationship between a series of individual difference measures and belief in political and medical conspiracy theories. Participants (N = 323) rated 20 conspiracy theories (10 medical, 10 political) and completed a set of questionnaires. Belief in political conspiracies was strongly positively correlated with belief in medical conspiracies. Belief in both conspiracy types was correlated with low self-esteem, low Conscientiousness, more right-wing political views, younger age, and greater belief in the benefits of Alternative Medicine. It was also correlated with religiousness and gender. Low Emotional Stability and Agreeableness were also correlated with belief in political conspiracies, and higher education level was correlated with belief in medical conspiracies. The findings generally demonstrated support for a monological belief system. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Individual difference factors and beliefs in medical and political conspiracy theories
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12382
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12382
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Personality, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, self-esteem
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1570672
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