Presentation Title

The Relationship Between Analytic vs. Creative Thinking in Conspiracy Theory Ideation

Location

Guzman 113

Start Date

4-19-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-19-2018 3:15 PM

Department

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Davis, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

There is a perception that only people who are “crazy” or illogical believe in things such as conspiracy theories. However, belief in conspiracy theories may be more common than we think. According to a Washington Post article written in 2015 by John Sides, as much as 40% of American citizens believe in at least one conspiracy theory. The purpose of the present study was to examine conspiracy theory ideation and to determine whether it is related to cognitive styles such as creative or analytical thinking, with. In the study, approximately 40 volunteers completed a short demographic questionnaire and a test for creative thinking to measure their predisposition for creative thinking. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions: analytical or creative. Participants were then given either an analytical task or a creative task to complete for a period of 7 minutes. Finally, participants were then asked to complete a short survey about their belief in conspiracy theories as well as the General Conspiracist Belief Scale. While data are still being collected, based on prior research it is expected that those who score higher on the test of creative thinking and who were engaged in a creative task prior to completing the survey will be more likely to display a belief in conspiracy theories. At a time when rumors, claims of “fake news” and alleged secret agendas behind different disasters, learning more about what type of thinking promotes belief in conspiracy theories could help the public to be more objective as they evaluate stories in the news.

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Apr 19th, 3:00 PM Apr 19th, 3:15 PM

The Relationship Between Analytic vs. Creative Thinking in Conspiracy Theory Ideation

Guzman 113

There is a perception that only people who are “crazy” or illogical believe in things such as conspiracy theories. However, belief in conspiracy theories may be more common than we think. According to a Washington Post article written in 2015 by John Sides, as much as 40% of American citizens believe in at least one conspiracy theory. The purpose of the present study was to examine conspiracy theory ideation and to determine whether it is related to cognitive styles such as creative or analytical thinking, with. In the study, approximately 40 volunteers completed a short demographic questionnaire and a test for creative thinking to measure their predisposition for creative thinking. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions: analytical or creative. Participants were then given either an analytical task or a creative task to complete for a period of 7 minutes. Finally, participants were then asked to complete a short survey about their belief in conspiracy theories as well as the General Conspiracist Belief Scale. While data are still being collected, based on prior research it is expected that those who score higher on the test of creative thinking and who were engaged in a creative task prior to completing the survey will be more likely to display a belief in conspiracy theories. At a time when rumors, claims of “fake news” and alleged secret agendas behind different disasters, learning more about what type of thinking promotes belief in conspiracy theories could help the public to be more objective as they evaluate stories in the news.