From: The Stream

What makes people believe in conspiracy theories?

On Monday, January 18 at 19:30GMT:
Psychologists have found that people are more likely to latch onto conspiracy theories and irrational narratives during times of insecurity. And as COVID-19 continues to create instability in many countries, false narratives about vaccines, 5G mobile networks and other pandemic-related issues are spreading with real-life consequences.

To what degree have fringe narratives become a part of mainstream discourse, and what can be done about it? In a 2020 survey from the Pew Research Center, 20% of US respondents who were aware of the online conspiracy theory QAnon – a far-right fantasy that says Donald Trump is fighting a paedophile ring linked to the Democratic Party – said the conspiracy theory was good for the country.

In this episode, we’ll look at why people are attracted to conspiracy theories and how society should respond. Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Spencer Sunshine, @transform6789
Researcher and writer

Ramesh Srinivasan, @rameshmedia
Professor, UCLA Department of Information Studies

Nadia Brashier, @nadiabrashier
Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University