Why do people like conspiracies?

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Mefiante (September 21, 2012, 09:22:11 AM):
On the psychology behind the persistence of misinformation. The principles outlined apply equally to all forms of false belief, be they conspiracies, religious or woo-woo science/medicine. Towards the end of the article, five points on how best to combat false beliefs are given.

The full report can be downloaded here (PDF, 450 kB).

'Luthon64
Brian (January 11, 2013, 16:39:23 PM):
I take in a computer to a techie: we get talking on moon landings: "Ah but that's if you believe they actually landed on the moon" he says. "...and why do you think they didn't?" I ask. "Well," he says, smirking knowingly. "On earth we are held together by gravity and air pressure. Now in space these forces don't apply. Therefore a space craft with a thin metal skin would simply disintegrate in space." "Jeez", I reply, "you mean NASA never thought of this challenge?". "It's all bullshit", he says, "media-hype........" (wtf!!)
Majin (January 11, 2013, 17:54:32 PM):
I have a son-in-law that's a serious conspiracy theorist/believer (he ain't religious at all)and has done an enormous amount of research into the Illuminati, the ANC's pending ethnic cleansing/genocide (8 steps to chaos) camps etc that will be sprung on us in the short term. This has had an impact on my daughter/grand daughter insofar as they intend moving to Panama. My exhortations that this is BS have not had any effect (GCG you know the litey and can vouch for me!!)
How do you address this in a serious and effective manner? As you say it's all misinformation (or is it?), half truths and preys on people's fear and is BS but extremely difficult to verify/triangulate with reality/facts. The mining unrest serves as proof to these guys that shit is imminent!

I am sorry to hear about this. Must be hard for you.
But atleast he didn't believe that it was the end of the world?

Out of my own experience there is just nothing you can do if the person doesn't want to believe you.
Don't give up hope - atleast then you know you did your best.

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