Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Man in dark tunnel Xpics from Pixabay

Conspiracy theories fomented by political division and a global pandemic have gained traction in the public consciousness in the last couple of years. For some people these ideas are just fun and entertaining, but for others their interest in them becomes much more consuming. Why do people become involved in this kind of conspiratorial thinking?  LSE iQ tackles this question in this month’s episode. 

Concerns that 5G phone masts reduce our bodies’ defences against COVID-19 and that vaccines are being used to inject us with micro-chips - allowing us to be tracked and controlled - may seem extraordinary to many of us. But these beliefs have led to the vandalism of 5G phone masts and made some reluctant to be vaccinated.   

Keen to understand more, Sue Windebank talks to Dr Ela Drążkiewicz from the Institute for Sociology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences; Professor Bradley Franks from LSE’s Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science; and Dr Erica Lagalisse from LSE’s Institute of Inequalities. 

She finds out how left-wing anarchists got caught up in conspiratorial thinking and how Irish parents looking for support and community were accused of spreading a conspiracy. And is LSE unknowingly carrying out the wishes of the Illuminati?  Listen to hear how LSE became embroiled in a global conspiracy. 

Listen to this episode on the LSE Player or search for LSE IQ on your favourite podcast app. We’re also now available on Spotify and Audible.