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Do conspiracy theory beliefs change over time?

Mike Jeffreys

Mike speaks with Dr. Mathew Marques, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at La Trobe University, to discuss his recent study on conspiracy theory beliefs over time.

Despite concerns about a ‘pandemic of misinformation,’ the research involving nearly 500 Australians and New Zealanders found no overall increase in conspiracy beliefs. The study spanned events from 9/11 to COVID, presenting participants with 12 theories.

Dr. Marques highlights that while most participants tended to disagree, there were consistent believers and a small proportion whose beliefs fluctuated.

The study unveils a stable proportion of believers over time, with the most popular theory being the suppression of a cancer cure by pharmaceutical companies. Interestingly, beliefs in COVID-19 vaccine microchipping were the least popular, challenging assumptions about typical belief changes and emphasizing the need to understand individual variations in conspiracy theory beliefs.

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Mike Jeffreys
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