Investigating the Links Between Cultural Values and Belief in Conspiracy Theories: the Key Roles of Collectivism and Masculinity

Troian, Jais and Wagner-Egger, Pascal and Motyl, Matt and Arciszewski, Thomas and Imhoff, Roland and Zimmer, Felix and Klein, Oliver and Babinska, Maria and Bangerter, Adrian and Bilewicz, Michael and Blanuša, Nebojša and Bovan, Kosta and Bužarovska, Rumena and Chichoka, Aleksandra and Çelebi, Elif and Delouvée, Sylvain and Douglas, Karen M. and Dyrendal, Asbjørn and Gjoneksa, Biljana and Graf, Sylvie and Gualda, Estrella and Hirschberger, Gilad and Kende, Anna and Krekó, Peter and Krouwel, Andre and Lamberty, Pia and Mari, Silvia and Milosevic, Jasna and Panasiti, Maria S. and Myrto, Pantasi and Petkovski, Ljupcho and Porciello, Giuseppina and Prims, J. P. and Rabelo, André and Schepisi, Michael and Sutton, Robbie M. and Swami, Viren and Thórisdóttir, Hilda and Vladimir, Turjačanin and Zezelj, Iris and van Prooijen, Jan-Willem (2021) Investigating the Links Between Cultural Values and Belief in Conspiracy Theories: the Key Roles of Collectivism and Masculinity. Political Psychology, 42 (4). pp. 597-618. ISSN 1467-9221

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Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g., religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research, we tested, based on a situated cultural cognition perspective, the extent to which culture predicts CT beliefs. Using Hofstede's model of cultural values, three nation‐level analyses of data from 25, 19, and 18 countries using different measures of CT beliefs (Study 1, N = 5323; Study 2a, N = 12,255; Study 2b, N = 30,994) revealed positive associations between masculinity, collectivism, and CT beliefs. A cross‐sectional study among U.S. citizens (Study 3, N = 350), using individual‐level measures of Hofstede's values, replicated these findings. A meta‐analysis of correlations across studies corroborated the presence of positive links between CT beliefs, collectivism, r = .31, 95% CI = [.15; .47], and masculinity, r = .39, 95% CI = [.18; .59]. Our results suggest that in addition to individual differences and contextual variables, cultural factors also play an important role in shaping CT beliefs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Conspiracist beliefs, Cultural values, Situated cognition, Collectivism, Masculinity, Cross-cultural
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2020 08:42
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 15:54

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