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1) Oswald probably did it
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3) Oswald probably did it alone
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Author Topic: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?  (Read 7539 times)

Offline Bill Chapman

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Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« on: March 18, 2019, 03:34:23 PM »
Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
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Christopher French, a professor of psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, explains:

Although conspiracy beliefs can occasionally be based on a rational analysis of the evidence, most of the time they are not. As a species, one of our greatest strengths is our ability to find meaningful patterns in the world around us and to make causal inferences. We sometimes, however, see patterns and causal connections that are not there, especially when we feel that events are beyond our control.

The attractiveness of conspiracy theories may arise from a number of cognitive biases that characterize the way we process information. ?Confirmation bias? is the most pervasive cognitive bias and a powerful driver of belief in conspiracies. We all have a natural inclination to give more weight to evidence that supports what we already believe and ignore evidence that contradicts our beliefs. The real-world events that often become the subject of conspiracy theories tend to be intrinsically complex and unclear. Early reports may contain errors, contradictions and ambiguities, and those wishing to find evidence of a cover-up will focus on such inconsistencies to bolster their claims.

Proportionality Bias

Our innate tendency to assume that big events have big causes, may also explain our tendency to accept conspiracies. This is one reason many people were uncomfortable with the idea that President John F. Kennedy was the victim of a deranged lone gunman and found it easier to accept the theory that he was the victim of a large-scale conspiracy.

Projection

People who endorse conspiracy theories may be more likely to engage in conspiratorial behaviors themselves, such as spreading rumors or tending to be suspicious of others' motives. If you would engage in such behavior, it may seem natural that other people would as well, making conspiracies appear more plausible and widespread. Furthermore, people who are strongly inclined toward conspiratorial thinking will be more likely to endorse mutually contradictory theories. For example, if you believe that Osama bin Laden was killed many years before the American government officially announced his death, you are also more likely to believe that he is still alive.

None of the above should indicate that all conspiracy theories are false. Some may indeed turn out to be true. The point is that some individuals may have a tendency to find such theories attractive.

The crux of the matter is that conspiracists are not really sure what the true explanation of an event is. They are simply certain that the official story is a cover-up.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 10:29:08 PM by Bill Chapman »

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Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« on: March 18, 2019, 03:34:23 PM »

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 04:15:22 PM »
1) Conspiracies are more fun.  Cable TV has made an industry off of it with UFOs.  How long would a show last that confirmed no evidence of UFOs each week?  You ultimately need an explanation for why no one can prove the existence of UFOs.  And so a conspiracy is the explanation.  For whatever unspecified reason, the government is always thwarting UFO discoveries by covering them up!  Very convenient for the UFO believers who are given an excuse to avoid having to prove anything.
2) For some folks, it oddly appears to provide comfort that some nefarious entity is in charge of all important events.  Nothing is left to chance.  Better than acknowledging that a lot of important things happen outside the control of anyone.
3) An opportunity to grind an axe with some person or entity that they have an issue with.  The military, government, religious or political groups.  Anything evil that happens can be blamed on someone they dislike.
4) Attention. Taking a contrarian stand to the "official" story makes them feel special and provides a sense of being a seeker of justice and truth. 
5) True believers/mental cases.  A vocal minority of nuts who can't be reasoned with by facts or evidence. 
6) There are some legitimate conspiracies.   Experience teaches us, however, that they are almost impossible to conceal.  Even the dumbest and simplest conspiracies at the highest level typically unravel.  Watergate is a great example.  A low-level break in that even the President of the United States couldn't cover up using all the tools at his disposal.  It highlights how impossible a much more complex and involved conspiracy such as pulling off the assassination of JFK, frame up of Oswald, and cover up of everything else would be.

Online Walt Cakebread

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 04:35:54 PM »
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1) Conspiracies are more fun.  Cable TV has made an industry off of it with UFOs.  How long would a show last that confirmed no evidence of UFOs each week?  You ultimately need an explanation for why no one can prove the existence of UFOs.  And so a conspiracy is the explanation.  For whatever unspecified reason, the government is always thwarting UFO discoveries by covering them up!  Very convenient for the UFO believers who are given an excuse to avoid having to prove anything.
2) For some folks, it oddly appears to provide comfort that some nefarious entity is in charge of all important events.  Nothing is left to chance.  Better than acknowledging that a lot of important things happen outside the control of anyone.
3) An opportunity to grind an axe with some person or entity that they have an issue with.  The military, government, religious or political groups.  Anything evil that happens can be blamed on someone they dislike.
4) Attention. Taking a contrarian stand to the "official" story makes them feel special and provides a sense of being a seeker of justice and truth. 
5) True believers/mental cases.  A vocal minority of nuts who can't be reasoned with by facts or evidence. 
6) There are some legitimate conspiracies.   Experience teaches us, however, that they are almost impossible to conceal.  Even the dumbest and simplest conspiracies at the highest level typically unravel.  Watergate is a great example.  A low-level break in that even the President of the United States couldn't cover up using all the tools at his disposal.  It highlights how impossible a much more complex and involved conspiracy such as pulling off the assassination of JFK, frame up of Oswald, and cover up of everything else would be.

You're FOS, Mr "Smith".....  People know when they're being deceived and told lies....  They may not know at the moment, but if the evidence does add up they know that something stinks.    Any reasonable person can deduce that the Warren Report is a pack of lies....

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 04:35:54 PM »

Offline Bill Chapman

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 04:40:31 PM »
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1) Conspiracies are more fun.  Cable TV has made an industry off of it with UFOs.  How long would a show last that confirmed no evidence of UFOs each week?  You ultimately need an explanation for why no one can prove the existence of UFOs.  And so a conspiracy is the explanation.  For whatever unspecified reason, the government is always thwarting UFO discoveries by covering them up!  Very convenient for the UFO believers who are given an excuse to avoid having to prove anything.
2) For some folks, it oddly appears to provide comfort that some nefarious entity is in charge of all important events.  Nothing is left to chance.  Better than acknowledging that a lot of important things happen outside the control of anyone.
3) An opportunity to grind an axe with some person or entity that they have an issue with.  The military, government, religious or political groups.  Anything evil that happens can be blamed on someone they dislike.
4) Attention. Taking a contrarian stand to the "official" story makes them feel special and provides a sense of being a seeker of justice and truth. 
5) True believers/mental cases.  A vocal minority of nuts who can't be reasoned with by facts or evidence. 
6) There are some legitimate conspiracies.   Experience teaches us, however, that they are almost impossible to conceal.  Even the dumbest and simplest conspiracies at the highest level typically unravel.  Watergate is a great example.  A low-level break in that even the President of the United States couldn't cover up using all the tools at his disposal.  It highlights how impossible a much more complex and involved conspiracy such as pulling off the assassination of JFK, frame up of Oswald, and cover up of everything else would be.

4) Attention. Taking a contrarian stand to the "official" story makes them feel special and provides a sense of being a seeker of justice and truth.
>>> Also known as the 'appeal to rebellion' logical fallacy

Offline Bill Chapman

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 04:48:47 PM »
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You're FOS, Mr "Smith".....  People know when they're being deceived and told lies....  They may not know at the moment, but if the evidence does add up they know that something stinks.    Any reasonable person can deduce that the Warren Report is a pack of lies....

You're the poster boy for this topic, fool
Thanks for demonstrating that

Time for your nap

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 04:48:47 PM »

Online Jerry Freeman

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 06:59:28 PM »
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People know when they're being deceived and told lies....   
Of course they do...those that check the facts. Walt...why continually respond to the blather of the Troll Brothers? They enjoy shining you on. It is exciting and fun for them.  Anyway this Professor French [what a name for a limey] :D stated..
Quote
None of the above should indicate that all conspiracy theories are false. Some may indeed turn out to be true.
The JFK assassination was not specified in the article. However, the grand mentor of these trolls..Vincent Bug did basically write in Reclaiming Misery that conspiracy belief is a lot more fun than just hanging the lone assassin.

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 07:23:17 PM »
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You're FOS, Mr "Smith".....  People know when they're being deceived and told lies....  They may not know at the moment, but if the evidence does add up they know that something stinks.    Any reasonable person can deduce that the Warren Report is a pack of lies....

So after 50 plus years we should have conclusive evidence of a conspiracy.  Excellent!  I await the NY Times report confirming and setting forth the facts.  In the meantime, I'll pencil you in as a #5.   Every such person believes they know the real facts.  There are no greater true believers than the most outlandish conspiracy theorists because reaching such erroneous conclusions is not just a matter of faith but the dismissal of any facts contrary to their beliefs. 

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 07:23:17 PM »

Offline Ross Lidell

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 11:53:25 PM »
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1) Conspiracies are more fun.  Cable TV has made an industry off of it with UFOs.  How long would a show last that confirmed no evidence of UFOs each week?  You ultimately need an explanation for why no one can prove the existence of UFOs.  And so a conspiracy is the explanation.  For whatever unspecified reason, the government is always thwarting UFO discoveries by covering them up!  Very convenient for the UFO believers who are given an excuse to avoid having to prove anything.
2) For some folks, it oddly appears to provide comfort that some nefarious entity is in charge of all important events.  Nothing is left to chance.  Better than acknowledging that a lot of important things happen outside the control of anyone.
3) An opportunity to grind an axe with some person or entity that they have an issue with.  The military, government, religious or political groups.  Anything evil that happens can be blamed on someone they dislike.
4) Attention. Taking a contrarian stand to the "official" story makes them feel special and provides a sense of being a seeker of justice and truth. 
5) True believers/mental cases.  A vocal minority of nuts who can't be reasoned with by facts or evidence. 
6) There are some legitimate conspiracies.   Experience teaches us, however, that they are almost impossible to conceal.  Even the dumbest and simplest conspiracies at the highest level typically unravel.  Watergate is a great example.  A low-level break in that even the President of the United States couldn't cover up using all the tools at his disposal.  It highlights how impossible a much more complex and involved conspiracy such as pulling off the assassination of JFK, frame up of Oswald, and cover up of everything else would be.

Number 4 applies to most Conspiracy Theorists on this forum... IMHO.

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 11:53:25 PM »

Online Tom Scully

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 01:00:35 AM »

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Forrestal, center foreground, young JFK, right background.

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To this day, there is no satisfactory explanation taking into account all of the actual evidence....
Quote
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...Death....The official Navy review board, which completed hearings on May 31, waited until October 11, 1949, to release only a brief summary of its findings. The announcement, as reported on page 15 of the October 12 New York Times, stated only that Forrestal had died from his fall from the window. It did not say what might have caused the fall, nor did it make any mention of a bathrobe sash cord that had first been reported as tied around his neck. According to the full report,[30] which was not released by the Department of the Navy until April 2004:...
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 01:20:10 AM by Tom Scully »

Online John Iacoletti

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 04:37:44 AM »
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In the meantime, I'll pencil you in as a #5.   Every such person believes they know the real facts. 

As do you.

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Re: Why do some people believe in conspiracy theories?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 04:37:44 AM »

 

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