Conspiracy Mentality and Political Orientation across 26 countries

Imhoff, Roland and Zimmer, Felix and Klein, Olivier and António, João H. C. and Babinska, Maria and Bangerter, Adrian and Bilewicz, Michal and Blanuša, Nebojša and Bovan, Kosta and Bužarovska, Rumena and Cichocka, Aleksandra and Delouvée, Sylvain and Douglas, Karen M. and Dyrendal, Asbjørn and Etienne, Tom and Gjoneska, Biljana and Graf, Sylvie and Gualda, Estrella and Hirschberger, Gilad and Kende, Anna and Kutiyski, Yordan and Krekó, Peter and Krouwel, Andre and Mari, Silvia and Milošević Đorđević, Jasna and Panasiti, Maria S. and Pantazi, Myrto and Petkovski, Ljupcho and Porciello, Giuseppina and Rabelo, André and Radu, Raluca and Sava, Florin A. and Schepisi, Michael and Sutton, Robbie M. and Swami, Viren and Thórisdóttir, Hulda and Turjačanin, Vladimir and Wagner-Egger, Pascal and Žeželj, Iris and van Prooijen, Jan-Willem (2022) Conspiracy Mentality and Political Orientation across 26 countries. Nature Human Behaviour, 6. pp. 392-403. ISSN 2397-3374

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People differ in their general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories (i.e., conspiracy mentality). Previous research yielded inconsistent findings on the relationship between conspiracy mentality and political orientation, showing a greater conspiracy mentality either among the political right (a linear relation), or among both the left and right extremes (a curvilinear relation). We revisited this relationship across two studies spanning 26 countries (combined N=104,253) and found overall evidence for both linear and quadratic relations, even though small and heterogeneous across countries. We also observed stronger support for conspiracy mentality among voters of opposition parties (i.e., those deprived of political control). Nonetheless, the quadratic effect of political orientation remained significant when adjusting for political control deprivation. We conclude that conspiracy mentality is associated with extreme left- and especially extreme right-wing beliefs, and that this non-linear relation may be strengthened by, but is not reducible to, deprivation of political control.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Conspiracy theories, Conspiracy beliefs, Conspiracy mentality, Political orientation, Political extremism, Europe, Curvilinear, U-shaped function
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2021 10:12
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 13:52

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