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Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them$
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Joseph E. Uscinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190844073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190844073.001.0001

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Conspiracy Rumor Psychology

Conspiracy Rumor Psychology

Chapter:
(p.257) 17 Conspiracy Rumor Psychology
Source:
Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them
Author(s):

Nicholas DiFonzo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190844073.003.0017

Social psychologists have been researching the psychology of rumor for nearly a century. Using the rumor psychology framework leads us to see conspiracy theories as stories that are communicated from person to person and in groups. Why do people spread conspiracy theories, in what sorts of relationships and community networks are they spread, and what is it about these groups or relationships that manufactures and maintains such false stories (and every once in a while a true one)? This approach focuses on the psychology of social interactions and group dynamics involved in conspiracy theory spread, belief, change and maintenance.

Keywords:   rumor, conspiracy theory, gossip, communication, trust

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