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Bullying and Conspiracy Theories: Experiences of Workplace Bullying and the Tendency to Engage in Conspiracy Theorizing

Jolley, Daniel; Lantian, Anthony

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

Anthony Lantian



Abstract

Experiences of bullying in the workplace can increase anxiety, paranoia, and hypervigilance to threat in victims. Such factors are also associated with conspiracy beliefs. Two preregistered studies (cross-sectional and experimental) tested whether bullying experiences may be linked to the development of conspiracy beliefs. Study 1 (n = 273) demonstrated that experiences of workplace bullying were positively associated with conspiracy beliefs, an effect that could be explained by paranoia. In Study 2 (n = 206), participants who imagined being bullied (vs. supported) reported increased belief in conspiracy theories. Our research uncovers another antecedent of conspiracy beliefs: workplace bullying. Future research should endeavor to explore how best to support victims and avert the link between being bullied and conspiracy theorizing emerging.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 27, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 1, 2022
Journal Social Psychology
Print ISSN 1864-9335
Electronic ISSN 2151-2590
Publisher Hogrefe Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 4
Pages 198-208
DOI https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000492
Keywords General Psychology; Sociology and Political Science; Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Social Psychology
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/8768538
Publisher URL https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/10.1027/1864-9335/a000492

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