The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

Author(s): Jan-Willem van Prooijen


Who believes in conspiracy theories, and why are some people more susceptible to them than others?
What are the consequences of such beliefs?
Has a conspiracy theory ever turned out to be true?

The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories debunks the myth that conspiracy theories are a modern phenomenon, exploring their broad social contexts, from politics to the workplace. The book explains why some people are more susceptible to these beliefs than others and how they are produced by recognizable and predictable psychological processes.

Featuring examples such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and climate change, The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories shows us that while such beliefs are not always irrational and are not a pathological trait, they can be harmful to individuals and society.


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Jan-Willem van Prooijen is an Associate Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at VU Amsterdam, and Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement.

Chapter 1 -Psychology of Conspiracy Theories
Chapter 2 - When do People Believe Conspiracy Theories?
Chapter 3 - The Architecture of Belief
Chapter 4 - The Social Roots of Conspiracy Theories
Chapter 5 - Conspiracy Theories and Ideology
Chapter 6 - Explaining and Reducing Conspiracy Theories
Further Reading

General Fields

  • : 9781138696105
  • : Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • : Routledge
  • : March 2018
  • : 197mm X 133mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jan-Willem van Prooijen
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 001.9
  • : 108