THE ANATOMY OF A CONSPIRACY THEORIST

HumanBrain

Image courtesy of berkley.edu.

What is a conspiracy theorist? A conspiracy theorist is defined as one who follows a theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act that possesses little to no factual foundation. I present five common traits that conspiracy theorists appear to universally share between each other.

Many conspiracy theorists share the inability to accept information that differs from the conspiracy theorist’s perspective, regardless of the credibility differential between the two sources of information regarding the cause. This is an example of a logical fallacy, in which an argument is rendered invalid due to it being inherently one-sided and closed off to criticism – via this concept, conspiracy theorists do not truly possess an ”argument”, but a one-sided conjecture that only acts as a cascade catalyst for other conspiracy theorists.

Conspiracy theorists frequently present ”red herrings” towards individuals of the opposing mindset – the frequent, presumably impulse-driven arisement of irrelevant arguments that detract from the original argument and invoke irrelevant conversation in effort to avoid confrontation against the conspiracy theorist’s original cause. Additionally, such theorists present the viewpoint that if such sources are scientific and detract the cause that the conspiracy theorist possesses, then such sources must be ”fabricated”, despite the conspiracy theorist linking ”sources” that consist of YouTube videos and information sheets with no citations or references.

Another aspect that is common is that of a profound sense of ”superiority” over the sceptic, and that they are ”right” and hold more credibility than anybody else and ask why others cannot ”see” whatever patterns the conspiracy theorist is observing that cannot typically be observed by the majority of individuals and only those who meticulously seek out or fabricate patterns and attempt to decipher them into a fantastical explanation and resorting to personal confrontation to those who do not share the same viewpoint(s), disregarding the logical philosophy of Occam’s Razor method of critical thinking – ”I see a shape in the water, therefore it must be a mythological creature as written about in folklore!” and disregarding more logical explanations for the more fantastical one, so as to correspond to one’s own personal basis regardless of evidence or logic much to the contrary.

Such traits are somewhat similar to those presented in patients with paranoid schizophrenia, in which meaningless events are viewed by one’s internal mind to be significant in value, regardless of opinion or evidence that refutes such a significance. It is important to acknowledge that speculation and conjecture does not constitute as fact, regardless of personal beliefs or suspicions.

In conclusion, conspiracy theorists present many logical fallacies and flaws in critical reasoning – many of which are essential in the understanding of concepts behind conspiracy theories in themselves. Unfortunately, this method of reasoning provokes ”herd” mentality, and others join in on conspiracies, despite the lack of evidence in favour of their cause, and evidence presented against their cause.

Bibliography

  1. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-mishaps/201009/conspiracy-theorists-is-the-truth-out-there
  2. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mr-personality/201103/personality-and-conspiracy-theories-what-your-beliefs-say-about-you
  3. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200501/conspiracy-theories-explained

Article written by Miles B. Please credit both the author’s and the domain’s name in references. 

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3 responses to “THE ANATOMY OF A CONSPIRACY THEORIST

  1. Pingback: How to do you respond to the ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ put down/ – Dave B. |·

  2. Pingback: 7 Reasons why Conspiracy Theorists get their videos and pages removed from Youtube | Illuminutti·

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