Oct 19, 2017
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss conspiracy theories with guest Dr. John Grohol, founder of Psych Central. Dr. Grohol explains what exactly is meant by “conspiracy theory” and where they come from. Discussion includes questions of whether they are ways for people to rationalize why horrific tragedies occur, if they are based on distrust of authority figures, and if those who believe them are just attention seekers. Ultimately, the question is raised of how to address them. Can we convince believers that they’re wrong and, if so, how do we do so?
[1:05] What is a conspiracy theory and where do they come from?
[2:19] Are conspiracy theories just a way to “make sense” of horrific tragedies?
[6:50] What’s the connection between conspiracy theories and distrust of authority?
[8:44] Are believers really just attention seekers?
[12:12] The role of cognitive bias in the belief of conspiracy theories.
[13:01] Are conspiracy theories invented just to mess with people?
[14:15] How do we convince believers in conspiracy theories that they’re wrong?