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Conspiracy Theories

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Conspiracy Theories

Are aliens real?

Are aliens real?

Image credited to Eden E.

Are aliens real?

Image credited to Eden E.

Image credited to Eden E.

Are aliens real?

Maleehah H. and Bryce P.

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The earth, an extremely round planet, is flat? The government is hiding secret alien activity in area 51? The landing on the moon was faked?

These are all called “conspiracies,” but most people take them as fact. I mean, Earth just has to be flat! It can’t be round with all the evidence! The government is looking pretty suspicious with video of Earth from space. How do you explain all those black outs in their footage?

Many people tend to believe in these conspiracies, but the real question is why people believe in them. For example, why would you think that something that has been proved as round for hundreds of years would be flat? Simple, you don’t actually understand what you’re talking about.

A recent study done by Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood shows that 19% of Americans believe that the U.S. government planned the 9/11 attacks to start a war in the Middle East. In addition to this, 24% believe that former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States. With  little to no evidence it’s odd that such a large percentage of people believe in these ideas. Perhaps this tells us that people who believe in conspiracy theories haven’t done any research. Or as others like to put it, they’re talking out of their ear. Or maybe this writer is a spy from the government trying to cover up some sort of mistake. You’ll never know.

So what exactly attracts people to these dubious faiths? “Belief in conspiracy theories appears to be driven by motives that can be characterized as epistemic (understanding one’s environment),” said physiologist Karen Douglas. “..Existential (being safe and in control of one’s environment), and social (maintaining a positive image of the self and the social group).” This means that people may believe in conspiracies because they have a want to understand what is going on around them, a longing to control their circumstances, or they wish to have a good self-image (for they may feel as if they are lacking socially).  

So if you’re a tin-foil-hat person, maybe reconsider what you’re reading. Truth be told, we may never know if these conspiracies are a reality or not. But let’s be honest, most conspiracies are ridiculous. Then again, there’s always that slim chance…

 

 

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Conspiracy Theories