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Shining a spotlight on the dangerous consequences of conspiracy theories

Jolley, Daniel; Marques, Mathew D.; Cookson, Darel

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Authors

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Dr DANIEL JOLLEY Daniel.Jolley@nottingham.ac.uk
Assistant Professor in Social Psychology

Mathew D. Marques

Darel Cookson



Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated how conspiracy beliefs–that explain important events as the secret actions of the powerful–can severely impact health choices (such as reduced infection-prevention behaviours). However, the consequences of conspiracy beliefs span far beyond the topic of COVID-19. This review shines a spotlight on how conspiracy beliefs could impact public and personal health (e.g., vaccine uptake), democratic citizenship (e.g., political engagement), intergroup relations (e.g., prejudice and discrimination), and may inspire violence and extremism. We argue that conspiracy beliefs are likely to have the power to mobilise citizens in ways detrimental to a smooth-running society. We conclude the review by offering a range of fruitful avenues for future investigation.

Citation

Jolley, D., Marques, M. D., & Cookson, D. (2022). Shining a spotlight on the dangerous consequences of conspiracy theories. Current Opinion in Psychology, 47, Article 101363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101363

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date May 20, 2022
Online Publication Date May 28, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date May 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 29, 2023
Journal Current Opinion in Psychology
Print ISSN 2352-250X
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Article Number 101363
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101363
Keywords General Psychology
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/8305201
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352250X22000823?via%3Dihub

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