conspiracy theory


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Related to conspiracy theory: New world order

conspiracy theory

an element within a belief system in which social consequences, identified as harmful or unwanted, are seen as arising from the activities of groups believed able to influence the operation of power, economic decision-making, etc., in surreptitious ways. Members of successful religious or ethnic minority groups, political extremists, freemasons, etc., may be identified in such theories, e.g. the ‘witch hunt’ of members of the Communist Party (and alleged fellow travellers) carried out by Joseph McCarthy in the United States in the early 1950s, or the so-called ‘Doctors’ Plot’ in the USSR prior to Stalin's death in 1953, in which Jewish doctors were accused of plotting to poison Stalin. Whether or not there are elements of truth in the claims made in such conspiracy theories, it is the exaggerated nature of the claims, and the often slender evidence advanced, that leads conspiracy theories to be regarded as a phenomenon requiring explanation rather than being seen as ‘true’ theories. Thus, they might be explained as arising from the believers’ powerlessness and structurally precarious situation, and the need for the believers themselves to find a reason’ for this and some hope of resolution.
References in periodicals archive ?
A prominent conspiracy theory video claiming one of the victims of the mass shooting was a crisis actor was removed by YouTube.
The science behind conspiracy theory sheds an important light on why people behave the way they do and how they make decisions.
Many years of study of conspiracy theory lore leads me to suggest that Donald Trump is a co-opted sycophantic con man chucklehead, put in place to further an agenda.
According to O'Donnell, who offered no proof whatsoever for his conspiracy theory, "it's always worth remembering that if Vladimir Putin really does have ways, known or unknown to Donald Trump, to influence Donald Trump, then every day that is a good day for President Trump is a good day for President Putin.
Now, I love to entertain a conspiracy theory as much as the next girl.
To address these unanswered, yet important, questions left by previous research, we conducted a two-stage online experiment to test the short- and long-term effects of exposure to a video promoting a government conspiracy theory on belief in the theory, while considering the potential mediating role of video engagement.
Conspiracy Theory in Latin Literature opens with a sustained attempt to theorize "conspiracism.
Reason editor Jesse Walker doesn't just catalog conjured c cabals, but offers his own conspiracy theory, too: that paranoia isn't limited to the fringe-it's everywhere, from post-9/11 foreign policy to liberal backlash against the tea party.
The predicted revolution in September is a conspiracy theory.
Nitish Kumar, the honorable chief minister of Bihar, is shamelessly trying to cover it under a conspiracy theory holding the political parties in Bihar responsible for mid-day meal death in which 23 children have died," Rudy said
Outspoken Alama believes that one big outsider conspiracy theory is behind the troubles in the region.