Jul 29, 2022Liked by Saloni Dattani

That paper on conspiracy theory prevalence has a HUGE limitation that the authors only touch on briefly. Low social trust and conspiracism are both strongly associated with survey non-response. This has been a massive problem for pollsters in the US. (Low social trust is no longer evenly distributed across party coalitions, causing polls to consistently underestimate support for DJT.)

The paper doesn’t even mention the social trust literature. I found that astounding, especially at a time when the most consequential conspiracy theory in the US is that the last election was fraudulent. The researchers are casting the proverbial fishing net with 2-inch holes and report there are no fish smaller than 2 inches.

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Thank you! I'll have a look into this more.

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Thanks. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. I have a conceptual gripe with their approach too, which is that they conceive of this as individual differences in conspiracism. I don’t deny individual differences in cognitive style are important, but the most dangerous conspiracy theories tend to be linked to group identities. People don’t have to be especially conspiracy-minded to uncritically accept claims made by ingroup leaders. We’re all prone to that sort of bias.

Anyway, feel better! <3

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