Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones

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Offline RollyPolly

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Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« on: April 30, 2013, 12:56:40 PM »
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=moon-landing-faked-why-people-believe-conspiracy-theories

Moon Landing Faked!!! — Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories


By Sander van der Linden

New psychological research helps explain why some see intricate government conspiracies behind events like 9/11 or the Boston bombing

 Did NASA fake the moon landing? Is the government hiding Martians in Area 51? Is global warming a hoax? And what about the Boston Marathon bombing…an “inside job” perhaps? 

In the book “The Empire of Conspiracy,” Timothy Melley explains that conspiracy theories have traditionally been regarded by many social scientists as “the implausible visions of a lunatic fringe,” often inspired by what the late historian Richard Hofstadter described as “the paranoid style of American politics.” Influenced by this view, many scholars have come to think of conspiracy theories as paranoid and delusional, and for a long time psychologists have had little to contribute other than to affirm the psychopathological nature of conspiracy thinking, given that conspiricist delusions are commonly associated with (schizotype) paranoia.

Yet, such pathological explanations have proven to be widely insufficient because conspiracy theories are not just the implausible visions of a paranoid minority. For example, a national poll released just this month reports that 37 percent of Americans believe that global warming is a hoax, 21 percent think that the US government is covering up evidence of alien existence and 28 percent believe a secret elite power with a globalist agenda is conspiring to rule the world. Only hours after the recent Boston marathon bombing, numerous conspiracy theories were floated ranging from a possible ‘inside job’ to YouTube videos claiming that the entire event was a hoax.

So why is it that so many people come to believe in conspiracy theories? They can't all be paranoid schizophrenics. New studies are providing some eye-opening insights and potential explanations.

For example, while it has been known for some time that people who believe in one conspiracy theory are also likely to believe in other conspiracy theories, we would expect contradictory conspiracy theories to be negatively correlated. Yet, this is not what psychologists Micheal Wood, Karen Douglas and Robbie Suton found in a recent study. Instead, the research team, based at the University of Kent in England, found that many participants believed in contradictory conspiracy theories. For example, the conspiracy-belief that Osama Bin Laden is still alive was positively correlated with the conspiracy-belief that he was already dead before the military raid took place. This makes little sense, logically: Bin Laden cannot be both dead and alive at the same time. An important conclusion that the authors draw from their analysis is that people don't tend to believe in a conspiracy theory because of the specifics, but rather because of higher-order beliefs that support conspiracy-like thinking more generally. A popular example of such higher-order beliefs is a severe “distrust of authority.” The authors go on to suggest that conspiracism is therefore not just about belief in an individual theory, but rather an ideological lens through which we view the world. A good case in point is Alex Jones’s recent commentary on the Boston bombings. Jones, (one of the country’s preeminent conspiracy theorists) reminded his audience that two of the hijacked planes on 9/11 flew out of Boston (relating one conspiracy theory to another) and moreover, that the Boston Marathon bombing could be a response to the sudden drop in the price of gold or part of a secret government plot to expand the Transportation Security Administration’s reach to sporting events. Others have pointed their fingers to a ‘mystery man’ spotted on a nearby roof shortly after the explosions. While it remains unsure whether or not credence is given to only some or all of these (note: contradicting) conspiracy theories, there clearly is a larger underlying preference to support conspiracy-type explanations more generally.

 Interestingly, belief in conspiracy theories has recently been linked to the rejection of science. In a paper published in Psychological Science, Stephen Lewandowsky and colleagues investigated the relation between acceptance of science and conspiricist thinking patterns. While the authors' survey was not representative of the general population, results suggest that (controlling for other important factors) belief in multiple conspiracy theories significantly predicted the rejection of important scientific conclusions, such as climate science or the fact that smoking causes lung cancer. Yet, rejection of scientific principles is not the only possible consequence of widespread belief in conspiracy theories.  Another recent study indicates that receiving positive information about or even being merely exposed to conspiracy theories can lead people to become disengaged from important political and societal topics. For example, in their study, Daniel Jolley and Karen Douglas clearly show that participants who received information that supported the idea that global warming is a hoax were less willing to engage politically and also less willing to implement individual behavioral changes such as reducing their carbon footprint.

These findings are alarming because they show that conspiracy theories sow public mistrust and undermine democratic debate by diverting attention away from important scientific, political and societal issues. There is no question as to whether the public should actively demand truthful and transparent information from their governments and proposed explanations should be met with a healthy amount of scepticism, yet, this is not what conspiracy theories offer. A conspiracy theory is usually defined as an attempt to explain the ultimate cause of an important societal event as part of some sinister plot conjured up by a secret alliance of powerful individuals and organizations. The great philosopher Karl Popper argued that the fallacy of conspiracy theories lies in their tendency to describe every event as 'intentional' and 'planned' thereby seriously underestimating the random nature and unintended consequences of many political and social actions. In fact, Popper was describing a cognitive bias that psychologists now commonly refer to as the “fundamental attribution error”: the tendency to overestimate the actions of others as being intentional rather than the product of (random) situational circumstances.

Since a number of studies have shown that belief in conspiracy theories is associated with feelings of powerlessness, uncertainty and a general lack of agency and control, a likely purpose of this bias is to help people “make sense of the world” by providing simple explanations for complex societal events — restoring a sense of control and predictability. A good example is that of climate change: while the most recent international scientific assessment report (receiving input from over 2500 independent scientists from more than a 100 countries) concluded with 90 percent certainty that human-induced global warming is occurring, the severe consequences and implications of climate change are often too distressing and overwhelming for people to deal with, both cognitively as well as emotionally. Resorting to easier explanations that simply discount global warming as a hoax is then of course much more comforting and convenient psychologically. Yet, as Al Gore famously pointed out, unfortunately, the truth is not always convenient.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Sander van der Linden is a doctoral candidate in social-environmental psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (Grantham Research Institute) and currently a visiting research scholar with the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication at Yale University. His research focuses on behavioral change, the psychology of communication and the construction of human risk perception.

JConner

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 01:28:26 PM »
They have created the meme 'conspiracy theory' and 'conspiracy theorists' as a means of pidgeon-holing researches and people who don't buy the 'official conspiracy theories' as crackpots and kooks.

We have to figure out a way to eliminate the 'conspiracy theory/theorists' meme...

Of course, it looks like about half the population doesn't buy anything the MSM says anyway, so it may be a moot point by now.

Offline Exposingtheshills

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 01:35:02 PM »
Just a bunch of words coming from someone who believes the 911 official story bin laden assassination etc on complete hearsay from the msm and faith in people who have records of lying out their asses

Offline jaredkaye84

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 07:28:37 AM »
I searched "fake moon landing" and got here...

I have a distrust of authority because I think it is a natural reaction growing up in "freedom" worship.  Freedom is a rebellion against destiny.  We are not free until we exit the laws of the universe.  Scientifically/philosophically we are all enslaved.  It is neither good or bad.  Whoever controls the resources enslaves the world.

I don't know if humans walked on the moon.  Kodak film used to take pictures would have been destroyed by cosmic rays and the radiation from the surface of the moon since NASA didn't shield ANYTHING from radiation.

The moral is that the price of enlightenment is engineered social ostracizing.  MCR is wonderful punk rock because they SCREAM about 9/11, manipulation, and nihilism.  The end.
-273.15 degrees Kelvin is the absolute truth.

Offline kita

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 07:59:40 AM »

Of course they are,he is the most powerful man in radio now.And instead of news junkie's-he's got politically active listeners who want action!!  


People have to start to realize,we are the most politically active majority now. OWN IT!
ONLY answer to God,for God is Good, honest and just.God is the one,we'll have to answer to one day for our actions in the here and now -DO NOT DOUBT IT!

worcesteradam

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 08:10:51 AM »
Good find

That University of Kent study surveyed members of this forum, incidentally.

Quote
results suggest that (controlling for other important factors) belief in multiple conspiracy theories significantly predicted the rejection of important scientific conclusions, such as climate science or the fact that smoking causes lung cancer.

Hmm... running into trouble here.
"climate science" - is a two word phrase and while it may have connotations, has no scientific meaning.
"smoking causes lung cancer" - 'Smoking' is not a scientific term, so this sentence is strictly speaking not science.

Laws of Newtonian Mechanics, Relativity or Thermodynamics would all be better examples of important scientific 'conclusions'.

Quote
Another recent study indicates that receiving positive information about or even being merely exposed to conspiracy theories can lead people to become disengaged from important political and societal topics. For example, in their study, Daniel Jolley and Karen Douglas clearly show that participants who received information that supported the idea that global warming is a hoax were less willing to engage politically and also less willing to implement individual behavioral changes such as reducing their carbon footprint.

These findings are alarming because they show that conspiracy theories sow public mistrust and undermine democratic debate by diverting attention away from important scientific, political and societal issues.

This is simply wrong. From personal experience conspiracy thinking encourages engagement with issues. And being unwilling to reduce a climate footprint is not an example of political disengagement. Certainly it is not an example of the undermining of democratic debate.

Quote
In fact, Popper was describing a cognitive bias that psychologists now commonly refer to as the “fundamental attribution error”: the tendency to overestimate the actions of others as being intentional rather than the product of (random) situational circumstances.

Ill be sure to remind the jury of that if i am ever in court.

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 09:38:44 AM »
"America’s fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government’s account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based." -- http://www.infowars.com/good-bye-truth-has-fallen-and-taken-liberty-with-it-2/

"The term 'conspiracy theory' has contributed more to the destruction and enslavement of America than the oligarchical Establishment’s assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and other truth-telling political reformers. The stigma surrounding ideas and topics that are collectively referred to as 'conspiracy theories' prevents people from thinking critically about the true intentions of their political leaders and the policies enacted by their government." -- http://www.prisonplanet.com/destroying-freedom-truth-and-justice-with-the-power-of-words.html


http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=161407.0 (Why government shills & intellectual cowards LOVE the term "conspiracy theory")
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Banker Bob

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 02:20:04 PM »
FYI,

This is a global coordinated effort to put out conspiracy straw-man arguments.

I am reading foreign press; same talking points, same timing.

Looks like they got their marching orders at the same time, amazing how much power these entities have all over the world.

Their actions prove that they are worried and in a damage control mode.
You can't make up this SH*T!!

Offline Seeing

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 02:54:06 PM »
I am in such a bad mood today. I just read another thread about the cops beating a man to death and now some snooty braniac tells me I should trust what the government tells me. Well it's no wonder people don't trust what the government says. They are a bunch of God  damned liars. They lie when they don't even need to. My first inclination when I hear the "official story" is to not believe, then I go from there. That can never be changed. I have seen through too many of their lies to have the least bit of trust in what I am told.

Offline CheneysWorstNightmare

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Re: Globalist Rag On "Conspiracy Theories" and Alex Jones
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 03:20:34 PM »
FYI,

This is a global coordinated effort to put out conspiracy straw-man arguments.

I am reading foreign press; same talking points, same timing.

Looks like they got their marching orders at the same time, amazing how much power these entities have all over the world.

Their actions prove that they are worried and in a damage control mode.

Yes.  I noticed that right on the day of the Boston Bombings. Glen Beck and Salon were both demonizing AJ not too long after the bombing. 

IMO, the elite want to come after "conspiracy theorists" before they come after "right wing extremists".  They definitely want to separate the two so the right-wing neocons can attack the true Patriots.